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Liz challenges Government’s ‘Big Society’

On Monday I took part in a House of Commons debate about the Government’s ‘Big Society’.

The Government claims the ‘Big Society’ is about giving power to local people, and supporting voluntary and community organisations.  But in reality the ‘Big Society’ is about rolling back the state, using markets alone to drive change in public services, and leaving communities to fend for themselves.

Leicester’s voluntary organisations make a huge contribution to our city. Many of them depend on money from central and local government to fund the fantastic work they do.

The speed and severity of the Government’s public spending cuts threatens the existence of many of these organisations, and makes a mockery of the Conservative’s claim they want to create a ‘Big Society’ or that ‘we’re all in it together’.

I’m a long standing champion of the voluntary sector and of giving local people and communities a greater say about decisions that affect their lives, and about the public services they pay for and use. Leicester’s third sector is a huge asset and resource for our city. We must fight to protect and nurture it – now and for future generations.

To read Liz’s full speech click here.

You can also read Liz’s latest Leicester Mercury column on why we must fight to protect local charities from the Government’s spending cuts here.