Chancellor George Osborne has published the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).
The Government’s vision for the establishment of the Big Society and its plans for the voluntary sector have been revealed in the House of Commons.
The CSR is described as being underpinned by the principles of ‘Reform, Fairness and Growth’, concentrating on the radical reform of public services. The report sets out its intention to devolve centralised power to local authorities, encouraging communities to take control.
The Big Society will be achieved by encouraging volunteers, establishing community organisers and capacity building to help voluntary organisations cope with the proposed changes. This will be achieved by a new £100 million Transition Fund which will support infrastructure groups, in addition to the Community First Fund, initially announced by Cabinet Minister Francis Maude in May.
The report estimates that £470 million will be spent on building the capacity of the voluntary sector, including the establishment of an endowment fund. This is on top of the private sector funding anticipated to be generated by the Big Society Bank, utilising dormant bank accounts in England.
Additionally the Government has promised to reform its procurement processes, allowing voluntary organisations to play a greater role in service delivery. It intends to achieve this by paying and tendering by results, and crucially, introducing set proportions of specific services to be run by non-state organisations.
HM Treasury, 20/10/2010