Big society, not big Government

BRITAIN’S new Coalition Government is trying to reform ‘broken Britain’ by instilling a sense of responsibility into the community, in their new campaign ‘Big Society not Big Government’.  

The Conservative – Liberal Democrat partnership is trying to restore power and opportunity into the hands of the community, charities, social enterprises and local government so they can come together to solve the problems their communities face.

Britain’s new Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, argues that local groups, charities and communities are both capable of, and prepared to, deliver a range of public services better than central government currently does.

As a commercial recycler and social welfare charity, Recycling Lives has proved that a commercially viable business can work alongside a charity; and tackle social welfare issues such as homelessness and worklessness.

Recycling Lives was set up 18 months ago and since then has offered 20 people the chance to create a better life by offering opportunities in education, training and work experience.

To date, 50 per cent of those people have successfully finished the programme, stopped claiming benefits, found fulltime employment, independent living and started contributing to society by paying Income Tax and National Insurance.

Services such as Preston City Council’s Bulky Waste Service have been transformed by the charity. Our Bulky Waste Service now aims to divert 80 per cent of the waste it collects from landfill, compared to the Council’s former service which sent everything to landfill regardless of whether it could be recycled.

Cameron states that if the powers to run particular services are handed to local communities, the outcome will be services that are both tailored and accountable to the community they serve.

The Conservatives also believe that harnessing the power of ‘Big Society’ will help tackle social breakdown, and with the right resources, it will almost certainly make a more efficient use of taxpayers’ money.

The use of £100 million in unclaimed bank deposits will fund a ‘big society bank’ that will provide new finance for neighbourhood groups, charities, social enterprises and non-governmental bodies to offer these new services.