Are government cuts destroying 'big society'?

This week, Dame Elisabeth Hoodless, outgoing executive director of the Community Service Volunteers (CSV), heavily criticised the Government's 'big society' vision on BBC News. She argued that far from empowering local communities to volunteer, the 'big society' plans are actually stopping people from making a difference in their local area due to harsh cuts to local council budgets.

With a Liverpool council last week deciding to abandon a 'big society' project because they claimed cuts were undermining voluntary groups supposed to take over some services, the 'big society' debate is sure to continue in the weeks and months ahead.

In the wake of Dame Hoodless's outburst, David Cameron was forced to fend off sharp criticism yesterday in response to his announcement that £200million will be invested into the 'big society' bank. During Primer Minister's Questions, opposition leader Ed Milliband said that society was becoming "smaller and weaker, not bigger and stronger" because the Government was cutting "too far and too fast".

Do you agree with Ed Milliband and Dame Hoodless? If you're a member of a local Parkinson's group or any voluntary group in the local community, are you noticing support and funding opportunities drying up as a result of the cuts? Or would you like to speak up in support of the 'big society' concept?

Share your thoughts here.

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