Is there a Future for Civil Society?
February 9, 2011
Yesterday I attended an event, ‘Future for Civil Society’ where voluntary sector and trade union speakers warned that the Conservative lead government funding cuts delivered under the heading of the “Big Society” are helping to undermine charitable organisations in the country.
Around 150 representatives from charities and unions were there and at this TUC-organised event in London, with speakers unconvinced that the Big Society is anything other than a farce.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the conference was part of ongoing efforts to build “the widest possible coalition” against the cuts, involving unions, charities, community groups and faith organisations.
He called on people from across Britain to join a “march for the alternative” in London on March 26 “to send a clear message to ministers that they must find another way.”
The event is focused on service providers and third sector organisations with TUC, DPAC, as representative for service users, does not seem to quite fit into the flow of the discussions.
The term ‘ the most vulnerable’ and protecting ‘the most vulnerable’ was touted quite a bit and the question of volunteering – it is not a free resource and needs much support. Cuts in short term may be more expensive in the long run.
A report of the event and feedback from the workshops would be available from the organisers later.
More info about the event at the TUC website