Big Society - Where are we now?

Big Society
where are we now?
Sue Lowe
Policy Manager - East of England
Local Intelligence Team
Office for Civil Society
Cabinet Office
To build a bigger and stronger society
“We believe that the country will be stronger if we as citizens have more power and
responsibility to improve our own lives, the communities we share and the public
services we use....
To encourage more people to get involved and work together to improve their
The opportunity to influence the world around you, to feel connected, to be able to
make a contribution, and to trust those around you – these are some of the most
important contributors to our well-being...
This is the thread that runs from the idea of building a bigger and stronger society
through our focus on well being and the idea that Ministers and commissioners
should consider the full value and effect of the services they provide...
This is about building on the large amount of inspiring work already done by the Civil
Society and communities across Britain and doing more to recognise the value of
that work and encouraging and enabling more to happen.”
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, October 2011
Big Society – So far...
Social Action:
Opening Public Services:
Giving White Paper
Open Public Services White Paper
National Citizens Service
Free Schools
Community Organisers & Community First
DWP Work Programme
Every Business Counts Social Action Fund
Right to Request / Right to Provide
Big Society Awards
Mutual Pathfinders
Community Budgets
Opening Public Services
Supporting the VCSE
Transition Fund
Big Society Capital
Localism Bill
Transforming Local Infrastructure Fund
General Power of Competence
Red Tape Task Force
Community Rights to Challenge & to Buy
National Survey of Charities & SE
Transparency Agenda
Review of CRB
Review of Charity Act
Office of Civil Society’s Role
leadership on Big
Change, Open
Public Services
Sponsorship of
the Voluntary,
Community and
Social Enterprise
(VCSE) sector in
Whitehall and
Delivery of
flagship projects –
to encourage
Social Action and
the building of
Social Capital,
especially in
communities who
don’t have such a
legacy and need
more support
Helping Civil
Society seize the
opportunity to
play a bigger role
in shaping how
work together
and how public
services get
Local Intelligence Team (LIT)
and local
To provide
and context
to local
To provide
insight and
from local
To provide
policy /
support and
Opportunities for Civil Society
Looking forward, Government believes that the Big Society agenda contains
three major long term opportunities for civil society:
• Commitments to Open Public Services creates the opportunities for charities
and social enterprises to deliver significantly more public service contracts –
there is an explicit Coalition Government commitment to “support the creation
and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises, and
enable these groups to have a much greater involvement in the running of
public services”
• The localism agenda creates more opportunities for civil society organisations
to shape local priorities and give voice to those who need it
• An ambitious agenda for growing giving (of time and money) and social
investment creates the opportunities for charities and social enterprises to
access significantly more resource
Achievements so far
Over £400m secured for the sector over the spending review
• Goal One: Encouraging social action and building social
capital, especially in communities that need more support
• Goal Two: Helping Civil Society seize the opportunity to play
a bigger role in communities and public services
• Goal Three: Getting more resources into the sector
Social Action
• Community Organisers: 113 Senior Community Organisers currently in
the programme total budget £16m to 2015
• Community First- 600 CF panels established, Watford has the Community
First area in Hertfordshire
• National Citizens Service- 30,000 places delivered in 2012 90,000 places
available in 2014
• Social Action Fund-grant funding to expand at speed, social action mostly
volunteering. over £20m allocated to projects through 2 rounds of the
• Innovation in Giving-Supporting innovative platform ideas-£2.5m in R1,
R2 just closed, further rounds in the pipeline
Making it easier to set up and run
• Transforming Local Infrastructure Fund TLIF-Aimed at helping local
infrastructure services to become more efficient- £30m distributed to 74
organisations across England. Hertfordshire is a recipient of this.
• Cutting Red Tape- Unshackling Good Neighbours Report in May 2012,
complements and supports governments reviews of H&S, CRB and vetting
and barring regimes
• Mutuals Support Programme- supporting some of the most promising
and innovative mutuals to reach investment readiness and supported by
the Mutuals Information Service-£10m to March 2015.
Making it easier to work with the State
• Open Public Services White Paper- has set out a clear strategy for
opening access to public service delivery contracts. The Community Right
to Challenge rights in the Localism Act gives Voluntary and community
groups the opportunity to bid to run public services
• Procurement Reforms-contracts Finder Website launched in 2011
• Investment and Contract Readiness Fund-launched in 2011 gives grants
of between £50k-£150k to high growth potential social ventures- fund
expects to support @130 social ventures over 3 years- £10m
• Strategic Partners Programme-funds 9 VCSE sector partners to represent
the sector to Government, support partners to become independent of
Government funding-£8.2m over 4 years
Getting more resources into the sector
• Social Investment Strategy-published in 2011-included support for 4
Local Authorities to develop PBR contracts that might be financed by
Social Impact Funds
• A review of the Legal, Regulatory and Tax Measures to grow the Social
economy is currently taking place. We expect final recommendations by
the end of 2012
• Inspiring Impact Programme April 2012-£100k match funding from
Cabinet Office-
• Big Society Capital-launched in April 2012 with capitalisation of up to
£600m-Up to £400 dormant account money now unlocked- alongside
Merlins Banks’ £200m investment. Initial Investments of £3.5m have
been made. Big Society Roadshow event in Cambridge on 19th October
Getting more resources into the sector
• Transition Fund-£107m spent on supporting Civil Society Organisations
who deliver public services to make the transition to a tighter funding
environment- 1,700 organisations applied and over 1,000 awards made.
Funding was available over 2 years-£17m in 2010-11 and £90m in 20112012.
• Advice Services Fund-Fund to support the not for profit sector as it
adapts to changes in the way it is funded-£16.8m to 301 organisations.
The 2012 budget announced that an additional £20m will be made
available in 2013/14, and again in 2014/15. Announcement on that due
very soon.
• Funding Central-a free website that provides access to thousands of
funding opportunities. It has channelled £73m in 2011. Funding Central is
funded by OCS and run by NCVO.
Crown Representative for VCSE
• New role created as part of Government’s commitment to
enable charities and social enterprises to do more – Michael
O’Toole appointed
• Government wants to improve its relationship with VCSE and
open up public service opportunities
• Build upon making it easier for more VCSEs to tender for
public contracts, e.g. – All contracts now published including under the £100K threshold
– PQQs gone for <£100K contracts (simplified for above)
Strategic Objectives of the role
• Open up more business to VCSE organisations, influence
public sector commissioning and procurement
• Build strategic dialogue between government and the VCS
• Strong VCSE voice at the highest levels and communicate key
developments out
• Open up public sector business to VCSEs
• Build strategic commercial engagement with representative
groups / stakeholders:
• Work with other Crown Representatives / Commercial Leads,
procurement, public service reform, OCS and Departments
How can you help/find out more?
• It is early days for this new role and Michael looks forward to
building relationships across the sector
• Welcome feedback on how we can do more to help VCSEs
value your comments
• Michael.o’[email protected]
• Please follow on Twitter:
Local Intelligence Team (WM),
Office of the Civil Society, Cabinet Office
Sue Lowe
Policy Manager, Local Intelligence
Office for Civil Society, Cabinet Office
The Business Centre, Station Road, Histon, CB24 9LQ
07818 077266
[email protected]
For more information: