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Working together will be the big theme of the new few years if we are to meet social need effectively. A new configuration of dependency, independence and inter-dependence in services for the public (and with and by the public) will be necessary in which public money and resources provide the seeds for change and not the whole medicine.
The Social Value Act was born in unusual circumstances. As the former MP Tom Levitt recollects in his book, ‘Partners for Good’, the then new Conservative MP Chris White launched the Bill in October 2010.
Whatever the outcome of the election, the challenge for any incoming government is clear. We need to find more effective ways to deliver public services that maximise the benefits to local communities, prevent problems and reduce future demand on services.
One of the more intriguing ideas to emerge from Cabinet Office under the Coalition government has been the resurrection of the concept of ‘The Crown’. Of course we’ve heard the rhetoric of joined-up government for decades now.
Last week’s Community Energy Strategy sets out, in part, to identify how to support investment funding for community energy. A series of grants and funding schemes from across different parts of government are highlighted.
DECC’s Community Energy Strategy is a glass half full for some, and half empty for others. Jonathan Porritt gave it a 4/10. Megan Darby of Utility Week was rather more impressed and summarised it in a very readable article entitled “DECC feels community spirit.”
If you haven’t been to Goldthorpe before, you may be unaware of its rich history. A former mining town within South Yorkshire with a proud heritage, it has fallen on hard times in recent years, and is now amongst the most deprived areas in the UK.
This strategy could not come soon enough. At a time of rapidly rising energy bills and growing concerns over the impact of energy infrastructure on our precious landscapes, community energy offers people a chance not only to take more control of their energy – where it comes from and what it costs – but also feel confident that the places they love have not been sacrificed to generate it.
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