David Cameron's proposals to help the voluntary sector

Greenwich Conservatives this week welcome the proposals by the new Conservative leader, David Cameron, to tackle social breakdown and help charities and the voluntary sector. 


Conservatives are investigating ways to remove the barriers that stand in the way of the social sector’s expansion, in particular, by creating new ‘social enterprise zones’ where social enterprises, charities and voluntary organisations can thrive.

There is so much in our society to celebrate – so much that is getting better. But there is a side to Britain that we cannot ignore: social breakdown. Respect cannot be earned, communities rebuilt or lives put back on track by government diktat or Whitehall task forces.

The possible policy solutions include:

• Simplifying the complicated and fragmented flows of funding for charities and the voluntary sector.

• Relaxing the rules in the tax and benefits system to reward voluntary work.

• Offering longer term contracts for provision of services so the voluntary sector can grow.

• Changing planning rules to make it easier for the voluntary sector to use space flexibly and create new facilities, whilst respecting any concerns of local residents.

• Creating a level playing field in the awarding of contracts for the delivery of social services at the community level.

• Introducing a National School Leaver Programme, to prepare teenagers for their responsibilities as adult citizens, and teach them about the life in different communities.

We need to harness the wisdom, expertise, creativity and hard work of the best social enterprises – the people who actually know and work in broken communities. Just as business entrepreneurs helped then to cure the British economic disease, so today social entrepreneurs can help cure Britain’s social malaise.