Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down

David Cameron’s confused message over the Big Society took another blow after it was announced a charity at its forefront had its funding axed by the government.

David Cameron’s confused message over the Big Society took another blow after it was announced a charity at its forefront had its funding axed by the government. Last year civil society minister Nick Hurd praised TimeBank for “countering the cynicism” about the Big Society concept; now its members appear to be adding to it.

Today’s Mirror reports:

“TimeBank, which has helped 300,000 people do voluntary work, was told yesterday it will not get any more support. The “devastated” charity said the decision completely undermined the PM’s vision.

“Mr Cameron wants voluntary groups to take over central and local government services. But a request by ­TimeBank for £500,000 in funding was turned down by the Office of Civil Society – the government department responsible for the Big Society.”

Helen Walker, chief executive of TimeBank, is quoted as saying the decision will “hugely undermine the government’s vision”. Miss Walker said her charity have made an important contribution to the voluntary sector over the past decade.

TimeBank are not the only charity doing good work in the voluntary sector to be in this position:

• Just this year Community Voluntary Services Tendring, run by its local community to support, promote and develop voluntary action, announced funding cuts will affect 14,000 service users.

VAST supports the development of voluntary and community organisations. It had to plan 16 staff redundancies after receiving confirmation from local government that funding for its children engagement and family support service will not be continued.

Skillshare International is an international volunteering and development organization working to reduce poverty, injustice and inequality. It has announced the loss of a central government grant they have held for the last 40 years. It announced that at least half its staff will be made redundant as a result.

These are among a long list of other charities.

If David Cameron really believes in the Big Society concept as more than a soundbite why is funding being taken from the very groups, infrastructure and networks that are best placed to deliver real community and voluntary support.

23 Responses to “Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down”

  1. manishta sunnia

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  2. John Sargent

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down http://bit.ly/eWnbAe

  3. Broken OfBritain

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  4. Vanessa

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  5. Coventry Rape Crisis

    This question needs answering properly. http://fb.me/TsmbqXtp

  6. Kelvin John Edge

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  7. Graham Galloway

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  8. Ma

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  9. lisa stone

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  10. Christine Ramsbottom

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  11. Double.Karma

    RT @leftfootfwd: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down: http://bit.ly/hTz6lv

  12. Dave Citizen

    Understanding why funding is being withdrawn from the voluntary sector in this way is a lot easier if an alternative motivation to the “Big Society” is considered – namely a deeply held ideological belief that economic growth is essential to prosperity and that growth, in a globalised investment environment, depends on constantly attracting new international capital. In this thinking, public services not only represent a drag on profitability in the rest of the economy, they also offer low risk investment potential on a vast scale that can help fuel continued economic growth. Having wrestled all that lovely profits potential away from the public sector, the last thing you want to do is to hand it over to the voluntary sector! Of course, for people willing to think the unthinkable, that economic growth does not necessarily a good society make, questions such as: where will the profits go; will important services worsen and where will next years profits growth come from (e.g. my rate of pay or holiday entitlement), become a worry.

  13. Daniel Pitt

    Tories build volunteers up to knock them down http://bit.ly/hTz6lv #ConDemNation

  14. Stephen Lintott

    Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/i3HDOe

  15. DisabledPeople

    RT @Slintottuk: Conservatives build volunteers up then knock them down | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/i3HDOe

  16. Mr. Sensible

    Dominic, I think we need to look at the contradictions of Eric Pickles.

    On the one hand, he advicates localism, but on the other he threatens councils (or at least Labour councils, we’re not sure with Tory ones) with an amendment to the Localism Bill to prevent councils cutting the voluntary sector too much. Meanwhile he imposes cuts on local government that all 3 main parties within local government view as unfair.

    Thanks to local and central government cuts, it has become clear to me that Cameron’s big idea is now on life support.

  17. Food Parcels for the people of “Oakhampton Devon” “You can’t be serious”…. « Dear England

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  18. Cameron's government continues to cut the big society at its knees | Left Foot Forward

    […] decade, would be  key to any supposed volunteering renaissance. Indeed as Left Foot Forward reported in March, civil society minister Nick Hurd has praised TimeBank for “countering the cynicism” […]

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    […] In fact the signal Cameron’s government has sent out to the voluntary sector is that it doesn’t support volunteering at all, even if they have praised your organisation specifically for your work in […]

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    […] for community action, at the very time when government financial support for many charities and voluntary organisations is being cut”, and secondly in the lack of clarity around the PM’s “big […]

  21. IT’S TIME TO DELIVER WHAT HALF A MILLION MARCHED FOR: PLAN B | DRESS TO THE LEFT

    […] for community action, at the very time when government financial support for many charities and voluntary organisations is being cut”, and secondly in the lack of clarity around the PM’s “big […]

  22. Big Society faith based partners must be subject to scrutiny | Left Foot Forward

    […] to be involved. The government could turn to the voluntary sector but they have already cut their funding forcing them into making redundancies. So where else can they find willing and able community […]

  23. As Cameron talks up the Big Society, it's crashing down | Left Foot Forward

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