Speech at Conservative Councillors’ Association Conference 2012 (#cca12)

I gave a speech at the Conservative Councillors’ Association conference earlier today, on a panel with Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, the leader of Hammersmith & Fulham, and Cllr Chris Hayward from Three Rivers district near where I grew up in west Hertfordshire. Unusually for me, I wrote a relatively full draft of what I wanted to […]

Big Society shrinkage?

Lord Wei, the Coalition Government’s Big Society ‘tsar’, stood down today. Cue a chorus of puns about small society and volunteers doing his job, and more dire warnings about how Cameron’s flagship policy is under threat.  But in the midst of all this Jo Ivens asks what is worth pursuing out of the ideas corralled under the Big […]

Pickles Unreasonableness

Here’s a strange pronouncement from Eric Pickles, reported in the Guardian: In what was seen as a marked change of stance, the minister [Pickles] said he was willing to block [voluntary sector] cuts that did not meet a test of reasonableness by inserting provision in the localism bill, currently going through parliament. It’s no surprise by […]

Five questions on Big Society and social enterprise

Allison Ogden-Newton asks for suggestions on questions for Lord Wei on the Big Society and social enterprise. Here are my top five: How are Whitehall and local government procurement rules going to be changed to allow coalitions of social enterprises to compete with Serco and PwC on a level playing field? What representations will the […]

Are protest networks democratic?

Image by chrisjohnbeckett via Flickr Quick post – longer one disappeared into the ether – about protest networks. On Left Foot Forward, Aaron Peters is broadly sympathetic to the claims of UKUncut and other similar “open-source” protest movements, that they have come up with a new organisational model which works better for mass involvement than […]

The Busy Enough Already Society

Mutuals? Nein Danke. Image via Wikipedia A little example of the reaction to Big Society mutualisation proposals (at least when they come from public service agencies), from my local paper The Argus. It concerns a local nursery for the kids of council workers, threatened with closure after withdrawal of subsidy (disclosure: one of my children […]

Lunchtime list for June 2nd

Here are the articles and web pages the Talk Issues team recommend today: Affluent communities cast wider social net – Research from Cornell University shows affluent communities tend to have residents who interact with a diverse group of people while people living in less-advantaged communities only talk within their own neighborhoods. THE REALITIES AND RELEVANCE […]

Lunchtime list for May 31st

Here are the articles and web pages the Talk Issues team recommend today: Peak State and The Valley of Nobody Knows – Adil Abrar from Sidekick Studios has joined the blogging team at The Big Society, and his first post is an interesting meditation on the similarities between energy policy and Big Society: both have […]

The Talk Issues Thinktank Roundup

Welcome to this week’s Talk Issues ‘Thinktank Roundup’ – your one-stop review of all the best publications, research, commentary and events from leading UK think tanks. Not surprisingly in the week of the Queen’s speech various thinktanks responds to their fears & hopes from the government legislative programme for the next 18 months. Reports, Publications […]

Lunchtime list for 23 May 2010

Here are the articles and web pages the Talk Issues team recommend today: How proportional is PR for Black and ethnic minority people? – Dr Omar Khan from the Runnymede Trust considers the impact of AV and proportional representation on BME representation. (Left Foot Forward) Local collaboration will be even more necessary in the tough […]