EXCLUSIVE: Get real, Lord Wei urges voluntary sector
The voluntary sector needs to get out of its ‘bubble’ and adjust to the new spending environment, the Government’s Big Society champion urged today.
Responding to the recent wave of protest from the third sector over council grant cuts of over £1 billion Lord Nat Wei, the chief adviser on Big Society, told a London conference today:'The Big Society is not just the third sector made bigger. It’s a power shift to citizens and while the voluntary sector will take some of these powers it also needs to change its mindset. The culture shift is at every level.'
Speaking at a conference organised by The MJ and Neil Stewart Associates Lord Wei added: 'The previous government left expectations there would be increasing grant funding. That is not the way to run a voluntary body which needs to have sustained earned income. We’ve had a huge bubble which has distracted the voluntary sector and the challenge for it is to return to some balance.'
Lord Wei, who recently revealed he was having to reduce the time spent on his Big Society chief advisory work, explained:'I didn’t want to get into debt which is why I’ve had to recalibrate my life. My hours haven’t changed. I’m still doing two days a week though recently it has tended to be four. In fact I’m really involved in Big Society five days a week as I’m involved in a project with the Chinese community in Shoreditch.'
You can watch the Q&A session that followed this speech and featured Lord Wei here: http://www.policyreview.tv/video/523/3058Paul Rushworth, Marketing, Policy Review TV, Added: Friday, 11 February 2011 09:41 AM
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