Report slams 'Big Society'

David Cameron's flagship Big Society project lacks a clear vision and strategy and is being hampered by widespread cuts, according to an independent audit of the first two years of the initiative.

Live updates

Cuts hits voluntary organisations in the poorest areas

Prime Minister David Cameron makes a speech on the Big Society to social entrepreneurs at Somerset House in London February 14, 2011 Credit: Reuters

The report author, Civil Exchange said cuts have hit disadvantaged areas, where voluntary organisations tend to be more involved in the delivery of public services, the hardest.

It said that groups in these areas were more likely to be reliant on state funding than in affluent areas.

'Government must do more for Big Society to work'

The report said:

If the Big Society is to succeed, the Government must do more to work with the voluntary sector to build a common vision and goals.

Far from being strengthened in the first two years of the Big Society, the voluntary sector is now facing an estimated cut in statutory funding of £3.3 billion between 2010-16, a gap which is unlikely to be filled by increased donations


Cameron's 'Big Society failing'

A report by think tank Civil Exchange identified a widening "big society gap" between affluent and disadvantaged areas in England as a result of the Government's austerity measures.

It said a number of leadership and operational issues are emerging which "threaten the ultimate success of the initiative".

The study tested progress on the "three pillars" of the big society policy launched in 2010 by Mr Cameron

  • enabling people to shape their local area
  • opening up public services provision to charities
  • levels of "social action" such as volunteering
Back to top