I copied this from some material circulating about the Big Society.
The Big Society – relevant to the Buddhist Community?
Since the Coalition Government came to power, David Cameron has revived his vision of the ‘Big Society’ with community groups and local organisations taking more control of their public services. It is clear that faith based groups will have a considerable role to play if the Big Society is to be a success, both as community anchors and representatives, and as service providers.
This in turn is likely to provide new opportunities for faith organisations in terms of accessing funding and gaining the ear of policy makers. However it will also present challenges as they adapt to the scrutiny and the levels of capacity needed to play a full and productive role in the Big Society and helping to build strong and cohesive communities.
• What role does the Government envisage for faith based organisations in the Big Society?
• What new opportunities will exist for such organisations?
• In light of the coming spending cuts, how can faith based organisations best cope with increased demand on their services?
• How can faith organisations improve their capacity and structures?
• What role do representatives from all faiths feel they should play in the Big Society programme?
• The key practical steps that local authorities can take in engaging with local faith communities
• Ensuring that the role of the faith community in the Big Society is aided by receptive and supportive local commissioning and procurement structures?
• How can we reliably map the cultural and religious make up of local communities to aid the Big Society initiative and other cohesion projects?