David Cameron promises "neighbourhood army" of 5,000 full-time community organisers
For David Cameron "there is such a thing as society, it's just not the same thing as the state" and today he and eleven other shadow cabinet ministers are setting out what the society agenda means at a one day conference. The Tory leader's own speech to the conference can be read here.
The following new policies have been announced at the Conference (CCHQ's words, not mine):
- "“Neighbourhood army” of 5,000 full-time, professional community organisers who will be trained with the skills they need to identify local community leaders, bring communities together, help people start their own neighbourhood groups, and give communities the help they need to take control and tackle their problems. This plan is directly based on the successful community organising movement established by Saul Alinsky in the United States and has successfully trained generations of community organisers, including President Obama.
- A Big Society Bank, funded from unclaimed bank assets, which will leverage private sector investment to provide hundreds of millions of pounds of new finance for neighbourhood groups, charities, social enterprises and other non-governmental bodies.
- Neighbourhood grants for the UK’s poorest areas to encourage people to come together to form neighbourhood groups and support social enterprises and charities in these poorest areas.
- Transforming the civil service into a ‘civic service’ by making regular community service a key element in civil servant staff appraisals.
- Launching an annual national ‘Big Society Day’ to celebrate the work of neighbourhood groups and encourage more people to take part in social action projects.
- Providing new funding to support the next generation of social entrepreneurs, and helping successful social enterprises to expand and succeed."