Third Sector

House of Lords written question – answered at on 26 September 2014.

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Photo of Lord Mawson Lord Mawson Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what they have learnt from promoting the Big Society.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what impact the promotion of the Big Society has had on competition between the social enterprise sector and local authorities; and what is the value of contracts transferred from the public sector to the independent sector since May 2010.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the experience of promoting the Big Society will inform their future policy making.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the delivery of Big Society initiatives will inform future pilot schemes to promote innovation in local communities.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what lessons for the localism agenda they have learnt from promoting the Big Society.

Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

Big Society hands people control in their local communities so that they can take action to shape where they live and help others. Volunteering is up 6% since 2010 and 80,000 young people have taken part in National Citizen Service since 2011, contributing over 2 million hours of social action to their local communities.

The Localism Act has resulted in over 1,200 assets of community value being listed and we have helped 150 organisations to acquire a community asset or obtain significant investment towards doing so. More than 900 neighbourhood planning areas have been designated, and all 28 plans which have reached referendum so far have passed with significant majorities in favour.

This Government is committed to opening up public services so that social enterprises and voluntary organisations can play an increased role in delivering local services. We are introducing legislation that will require the public sector to publish details on the value of new contracts awarded to VCSEs, as part of Lord Young’s reforms to make public procurement more accessible to smaller businesses.

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