The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy

The policy which may come to define the coalition government has been significantly tarnished in the past 48-hours. A day after the “Big Society tsar” reduced his hours in the unpaid role to earn more money and “have more of a life” Liverpool has quit the flagship pilot project.

The leader of Liverpool City Council has written to David Cameron today to withdraw from the so-called “Vanguard scheme”. This is especially embarrassing as the city was chosen by the Prime Minister to launch the initiative in July:

The government has failed to deliver a single change that we have requested … Liverpool City Council can no longer support the Big Society initiative, as a direct consequence of your funding decisions

With the only Labour borough quitting leaves just three remaining projects: Eden Valley in Cumbria (independent), Windsor and Maidenhead (Tory) and the London Borough of Sutton (Lib Dem). The news comes after the beleaguered policy was linked with a failure by the Conservatives to win a majority in May.

Asked by Scrapbook for comment on the developments, DCLG seemed to disown the project:

The Big Society vanguards are led by local communities and people – not central government.

So why does each vanguard project need to be “supported by a dedicated team of civil servants” from, erm, central government? Wherever a failing programme can be linked in some way to local government it seems the canned response from Whitehall will be as follows:

Nothing to do with us guv’nor!

5 Comments

  1. Political Scrapbook says:

    NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  2. "Big Society vanguards are led by local communities – not central government." VANGUARD? Sounds a bit socialist to me.. http://bit.ly/emPyhG

  3. RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  4. RT @psbook: The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/hefuNK

  5. RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  6. If the Big Society goes wrong … it's your own fault! http://bit.ly/dSwQ5b

  7. @psbook: The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR (particularly the bus wheels – thanks to cuts!)

  8. RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  9. Harry Cole says:

    u forgot to add the “labour leader” of liverpool council but dont let the facts get in the way of a good story eh?

  10. RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  11. oh dear. says:

    RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  12. Toque says:

    RT @psbook: The wheels are coming off David Cameron's England-only Big Society policy http://bit.ly/hefuNK

  13. What are you on about, Harry? We say that it’s a Labour council in the post!

    Hurr durr!

  14. TreeOfMan says:

    RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  15. Particularly embarassing for Andrew Stunnell who was championing Liverpool’s involvement to the Localism Bill Committee only two days ago:

    From Hansard:

    Andrew Stunell: One of those authorities is the city of Liverpool, so if the hon. Lady had it in mind that we only went to radical right-wing authorities, that is not the case. The others are Windsor and Maidenhead, the London borough of Sutton and a project in Eden district council in Cumbria.

  16. Dave says:

    My home city of Liverpool – this makes me proud of you (and wonder why a Tory gov thought to vanguard the Big Society there in the first place).

  17. JB says:

    Exactly the answer the Tories will have to everything.
    “My hospital waiting times are too long” – “Talk to your GP, they’re in charge, not us!”
    “My children’s school is falling down!” – “It’s not our fault you didn’t take it over and build a new one yourself.”
    And so on, and so forth.

  18. RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  19. L DTUC says:

    RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  20. RT @psbook: NEW –> The wheels are coming off David Cameron's Big Society policy http://bit.ly/ib6DdR

  21. RT @LaurenceDurnan: If the Big Society goes wrong … it's your own fault! http://bit.ly/dSwQ5b

  22. [...] the wake of Liverpool City Council’s withdrawal from the government’s Big Society pilot project yesterday, Scrapbook went back to look at [...]

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