Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Big Society Ha Ha Ha

Today’s Town Hall protest against the proposed closure of Age Concern Camden’s three resource centres marks only the beginning of the dismantling of services provided by the voluntary sector in the borough - and elsewhere. As the government’s spending cuts feed through to local councils and on to the Third Sector organisations they fund, it’s hard to see anything that might resemble a “Big Society” surviving.

The three day centres - Great Croft, Hillwood and Henderson Court - provide a lifeline for their elderly users which will be impossible to replace. Once they have gone, Age Concern’s Good Neighbour schemes are also destined for the chop. If the Orwellian “Big Society” phrase had any real meaning, these schemes would surely exemplify its essence. For the price of one part-time coordinator’s salary, 50 carefully matched and dedicated volunteers make weekly visits to the housebound and isolated elderly in their neighbourhood.

If anyone had doubts that Prime Minister David Cameron’s catchphrase was nothing more than a content-free PR soundbite, cuts to services such as these should put them straight.

More pictures here.

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