Provocation – An economy for all: the role of community power
- 7 March 2020
- Posted by: Helen Nicol
- Category: News
This impassioned provocation from CLES asks that we properly fund services and stop pushing the responsibility for the delivery of hyper-local services to community groups. CLES state that:
…there is little benefit in devolving the remnants of a broken social safety net to communities who are often themselves time and resource poor. We are in an era of deep economic, political, environmental and social change. As such, we should be wary of any slippery slope in which a struggling community sector delivers less with less – and inadvertently contributes to the weakening and hollowing out of local government – dressed up in the language of empowerment.
We need a bold reset to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and this includes a return to proper funding based around their role as conduits for growing active citizenship and developing civil society. This is about grants, not contracts to deliver public services. We also need bold changes to our wider economy to meet the intersecting crises approaching us. The best – and we would argue, only – way to get there is through true system change that addresses austerity coupled to the meaningful democratisation of the private sector. Anything less, as far as CLES is concerned, is tinkering around the edges.