Public Service move
The big society is dead. That’s the conclusion some have reached, following Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle after she became prime minister. Charities’ role in public services have moved out of the Cabinet Office and into the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The Office for Civil Society is still responsible for charities, volunteering, social investment and mutuals. But now it and civil society minister Rob Wilson no longer sit in a department at the heart of government, but in the DCMS, further down the Whitehall pecking order. “Everyone’s concerned. There doesn’t seem to be a clear rationale: charities are not just about culture, media or sport. It feels like a downgrading,” says Andrew O’Brien, head of policy and engagement at Charity Finance Group.
Some feel that the OCS will struggle to push social enterprise or public sector mutuals from the DCMS. "We are a bit concerned that moving the Office for Civil Society from the Cabinet Office means the cross-cutting aspects of its work in the Cabinet Office could be jettinsoned" says ASheem Singh, Chief Executive of ACEVO.