Politics News

New Year crystal ball round-up

I try to avoid making predictions because it is too easy to be wrong. Flying cars and robot house servants come to mind of examples where the speculations of futurists have been wrongly taken for predictions of the future’. Stephen Aguilar Milan, in Happy New Year

As the last year and decade drew to a close my twitter feed was filled with various musings on what the next year or decade might bring. Here are my top three highlights:

1. There are lots of technology related predictions around. I li...

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What will public sector consumers look like in 50 years?

I came across this presentation the other day on LinkedIn.

It was written in Autumn last year, so quite a lot has changed since then. But I thought it was a good presentation of how you can take different factors into consideration...and how you end up with strategic analysis thinking.

And given it was written over a year ago, it presages many of today's current concerns such as Big Society engagement and the changing relationship between consumers and the state. It also has interesting implicatio...

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What might the spending review mean for you?

We've brought you the top lines and pointers on how to ride the wave of the comprehensive spending review.

Some headlines

Responses from the sector

What this means for you

Other support to help you through

Spending Review

20 October 2010

Among the details announced were:

  • £470m over the next four years will go towards building the voluntary sector's capacity so that it can deliver the government's Big Society agenda. This will provide 5,000 new community organisers, and a pilot for the National Citizen S...

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The Big Society: localism and a sustainability perspective part 2

This is part 2 of Chris Church's discussion paper (read the first half here).

Transparent and fair decision-making


The Big Society talks of

Making local decisions a normal part of everyday life, giving people more say, choice and ownership of their local facilities and services. 

Some people will want this, but equally others with busy lives may simply want services that work and deliver.

If this programme is to deliver fairness and environmental quality, and ensure that local action plays its par...

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The Big Society: localism and a sustainability perspective

This is a guest post from Chris Church, Director of Community Environment Associates (CEA) and Chair of the UK Low Carbon Communities Network.

It is the first half of his paper (reproduced here with his kind permission), so grab yourself a cuppa before you settle in to read. And then have a look at the concluding part of his paper.


‘Think Global, Act Local’ has been a core tenet of much environmental thinking for four decades. With that in mind new moves to localism and more community ...

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Training for CEOs

On Monday 11 October, we're running training in Cambridge. Aimed at those who plan for the future of their organisations (CEOs and the like), Making sense of your environment will help you in these turbulent times.

10 am - 1pm, at the Eastern Leadership Centre, Pampisford.

Book here

It will help you to:

  • isolate the external trends and forces (drivers) that matter to your organisation
  • find relevant information about your drivers
  • develop and evaluate options for strategic action
  • populate significant part...

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Big Society in a small room

The first Big Society Network event


Last night I was at the first Big Society Network open night. There were over 100 people crammed into a small room at CLG, from organisations such as shared intelligence, envision, networked neighbourhoods; other charities, neighbourhood associations, local government, community regeneration organisations … I could go on.

There was a real buzz in the room – everyone was enthusiastic about the term Big Society and what it could mean. The event broke up into a...

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Implications of the budget

First, apologies for the dry title: it feels like the puns have been taken a little too far, for example in the constant references to ‘axes’ across the front pages of all the major newspapers today. 

These give a pretty clear sense of the overall tone of the budget.  But how does that affect voluntary and community organisations, and more important, how can we anticipate and plan for the changes that may come as a result in the way we work, who we help, and who funds us?

Some major implicat...

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Power to the People? The Big Society agenda

Turns out Citizen Smith was way ahead of his time, and would probably be horrified by this adoption of his favourite slogan, however, the new government’s civil  society agenda, the ‘Big Society’, expands existing initiatives to improve society by empowering local communities.  But what does this really mean to the people of Britain and to the VCS in particular?

The Government guidelines outline a number of proposals: an expansion of existing government strategies such as support for soci...

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Lessons from Labour

Some time back, I wrote about the lessons from the fall-out from One Alfred Place’s change of strategy, which was seen by some members as a voiding of the terms under which they joined the Club. We may now be seeing similar patterns at play in political party membership.

Maybe it’s something about the British loving an underdog, but Labour Party membership dramatically increased – with daily recruitment levels up 1000% (though from what must have been very low numbers based on a back of the...

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