Blog Posts - Big Society



Volunteers and Employment Risk

Public Libraries News, which is the leading source of information on UK public libraries, has an interesting piece about the risks of volunteer libraries.  These apply not just to libraries but also other kinds of "Big Society" solutions to publ...
by James Powney's Blog on Oct 30, 2015

Amateurisation of Public Libraries

Leon's Library Blog has an interesting piece on the Amateurisation of Public Libraries.  CILIP, the official body for librarians, has come firmly against community managed libraries, particularly because of job substitution of paid staff. ...
by James Powney's Blog on Aug 31, 2015

Charities under threat

As I have written previously, the Conservative Party in Parliament, largely at odds with the rest of the Party in local Council settings seems to mistrust and even dislike the charitable sector. They fully understand the benefit of being associated &...
by IanChisnall on Jul 16, 2015

A great idea, woefully executed

The value to employers and employees alike of a well thought through, carefully planned scheme to enable workers to volunteer in their communities is undoubtedly a good thing. There is plenty of evidence that this type of activity can as … Cont...
by IanChisnall on Apr 11, 2015

Love your neighbour? First you've got to meet them. Here's how.

They teach that people should love their neighbour* but a major new study shows that churches are one of the few places most modern Britons might even meet them. Ground-breaking new analysis of the friendship networks of almost 4,300 people aged f...
by Opinionated Vicar on Dec 8, 2014

Systemic Political Failure

The return of Boris Johnson to the House of Commons in May 2015 whilst retaining the role of Mayor of London will reflect failures within our Political System, that takes the UK back several decades to the era we were all acknowledging … Cont...
by IanChisnall on Aug 7, 2014

Localism Act Confusing Procurement in Lincolnshire

A second part of the Lincolnshire Library judgement that I find interesting is the procurement aspect.  This was a big concern for us in the Brent judgement, and one of the litigants' many points of attack in that case.  The Lincolnshire ju...
by James Powney's Blog on Jul 22, 2014

Another Big Society mess you’ve got into?

As I have written previously in this space, the tension between Politics and Charities is at something of a peak following the enaction of the Lobbying Bill in January and recent challenges to charitable impartiality by Conservative MPs or their sta...
by IanChisnall on Jun 25, 2014

Another Big Society mess you’ve got into?

As I have written previously in this space, the tension between Politics and Charities is at something of a peak following the enaction of the Lobbying Bill in January and recent challenges to charitable impartiality by Conservative MPs or their sta...
by IanChisnall on Jun 25, 2014

Dear Conor and friends

Yesterday I wrote about the rather sorry tale of an MP complaining to the Charity Commission about the work of a charity, on the grounds that it was behaving too politically. This is of course in the context of a … Continue reading →...
by IanChisnall on Jun 14, 2014

Community Managed Libraries

One of the most popular Council responses to the Library duty is now to hand them over to volunteers.  I have commented before that there appears to be very little assessment of whether this strategy works, so it is good to see some has finally...
by James Powney's Blog on Jun 2, 2014

The dilemma of Leadership styles

The way in which people see those in leadership can be at odds with the way in which they wish to be seen. The following words are from the Conservative Party website in which it profiles its leader. The text in bold … Continue reading →...
by IanChisnall on Feb 23, 2014

The dilemma of Leadership styles

The way in which people see those in leadership can be at odds with the way in which they wish to be seen. The following words are from the Conservative Party website in which it profiles its leader. The text in bold … Continue reading →...
by IanChisnall on Feb 23, 2014

Do Volunteer Libraries Work as Libraries

As a result of the Brent Libraries Transformation Project, this blog has a wide number, some might say far too many, posts on public libraries.  One aspect of this subject, which seems to fascinate many people, is volunteer run libraries. ...
by James Powney's Blog on Jan 12, 2014

Tackling Loneliness: For Love, Money or Qualifications

Two stories in the news this week caught my eye.  The first was really an OpEd in the Guardian (UK) paper, penned by the Head of Policy at a very good charity for the deaf/blind called SENSE.Sue Brown titled her piece "Tackling Loneliness is a J...

Happy Christmas

A brief reflection: Oxford English Dictionary Words of the Year 2010 Big Society 2011 Squeezed Middle 2012 Omnishambles 2013 Selfie From Big Society to Selfie in 3 years. Make of that what you will. At Christmas, God's selfie (Colossians 1:15) is...
by Opinionated Vicar on Dec 24, 2013

Nudging witches to feel good about themselves.

My Black Cat has just presented The Witch Doctor with some Christmas reading. Does she not know that witches are not in the least charitable? Even at Christmas-time? APPLYING BEHAVIOURAL INSIGHTS INTO CHARITABLE GIVING TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE VOLUNTARY...
by Witch Doctor on Dec 21, 2013

Nudging witches to feel good about themselves.

My Black Cat has just presented The Witch Doctor with some Christmas reading. Does she not know that witches are not in the least charitable? Even at Christmas-time? APPLYING BEHAVIOURAL INSIGHTS INTO CHARITABLE GIVING TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE VOLUNTARY...
by Witch Doctor on Dec 21, 2013

The Foodbank

Latest cartoon in Dave Walkers current Advent series. Puts me in mind of a line from a church urban fund chap (can't remember his name), that's it's all very well pulling people out of the river, but we also need to ask why people are falling in in t...
by Opinionated Vicar on Dec 9, 2013

The Decay of the Big Society

The Guardian confirms that the charity sector is in trouble.  Many of the problems are reminiscent of local government, and indeed tied to the decking budgets of Councils.  Aside from there simply being less money, procurement is being tigh...
by James Powney's Blog on Jul 28, 2013


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