Monday, 19 July 2010

Cameron launches the good ship 'Big Society'

David Cameron travelled to Liverpool to deliver the first of a series of public events on the Big Society. Housing is mentioned, though Mr Cameron did not go into the fine details of how the Coalition intends to deliver affordable homes. He said: 
'[there should be]... more powers to plan the look, size, shape
and feel of housing developments.'
The Prime Minister said that there are three main strands to the Big Society:

1. Social action - 'The success of the Big Society will depend on the daily decisions of millions of people – on them giving their time, effort, even money, to causes around them.'

2. Public service reform - '...we’ve got to give professionals much more freedom, and open up public services to new providers like charities, social enterprises and private companies so we get more innovation, diversity and responsiveness to public need.'

3. Community empowerment - 'We need to create communities with oomph – neighbourhoods who are in charge of their own destiny, who feel if they club together and get involved they can shape the world around them.'

David Cameron touched on how he intends to bring these changes about through:

1. Decentralisation - this involves moving power away from central government to local government; and beyond, to 'communities, to neighbourhoods and individuals.'

2. Transparency - 'for example, by releasing the data about precisely when and where crimes have taken place on the streets...'

3. Providing finance - 'We believe in paying public service providers by results.' This is seen as improving value for money.

Overall, there is a focus on increasing localism and removing bureaucracy. Inside Housing recently wrote about the Big Society, drawing attention to the Big Society Network.

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