Civil servants for civil society?

25 July 2010 | By Cause4 staff

This week Greg Clark, Decentralisation Minister, (is this title something of a contradiction?) put forward plans to offer community groups the support of senior civil servants to help them in their discussions with local authorities over support for grassroots projects. The move is part of the wider ‘Big Society’ plan to enable communities to “shape them(selves) in their own vision”.

There seems a general acceptance that empowering local communities, encouraging local initiative and nurturing volunteering is a positive step, but - at risk of impersonating a broken record – we all wait with bated breath to learn what all this will mean in a real sense. In other words, what money and what resources will become available?

Regardless, Cause4 welcomes Greg Clark’s proposals about civil servants. It can only be good for local people to benefit from the insights of those with an intimate knowledge of government operations and to be supported in their dealings with local authorities - the abominable no-men? Equally, it can only be good that the Whitehall mandarins meet real people, encounter real local issues and share these insights with the policy-makers at HQ.

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