WHAT IS THE BIG SOCIETY?
Put quite simply, it is the Conservative led Government's ambition is to put more power into people's hands.
The Big Society scheme plans to give citizens, communities and local councils the power and information needed to come together, solve problems and build a better Britain.
We believe that families, neighbourhoods, communites and networks form the fabric of everyday life and this scheme will make them stronger and provide opportunities for everyone.
To do this, all Government departments are pulling together to:
- Radically reform the planning system to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape of the places in which their inhabitants live.
- Introduce new powers to help communites save local facilities and services threatened with closure, and give communities the right to bid to take over local state-run services.
- Train a new generation of community organisers and support the creation of neighbourhood groups across the UK, especially in the most deprived areas.
- A range of measures shall be taken to encourage volunteering and involvement in social action - including launching a national 'Big Society Day'.
- Encourage charitable giving and philanthropy
- Introduce National Citizen Service. Providing 16 year olds a chance to develop skills needed to be active and responsible citizens.
- Promote devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government.
- General power of competence given to councils
- Abolish Regional Spatial Strategies and return decision making powers on housing and planning to local councils.
- Support the creation and expansion of mutual, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises, and support these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of public services.
- Public sector workers given a new right to form employee-owned co-operatives and bid to take over the services they deliver, empowering millions of public sector worker to become their own boss.
- Establish a Big Society Bank, using funds from dormant bank accounts - providing new finance for neighbourhood groups, charities, social enterprises and other non-governmental bodies.
- Create a new 'right to data' so that government data can be requested and used by the public, and then published on a regular basis.
- Oblige the police to publish detailed local crime data statistics every month, allowing the public proper information about crime in their neighbourhoods and hold the police accountable.
Learn more about 'Big Society' by visiting the website at http://www.thebigsociety.co.uk
Read the official launch of 'Big Society' at the Prime Minister's website.
Read the PM's and Deputy PM's speeches on 'Big Society'.