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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2011): Community regeneration and development - UK

David Cameron's localism bill is incoherent, say MPs

P. Curtis

The Guardian, June 9th 2011, p. 4

David Cameron's plans to devolve power from Whitehall to local communities are in disarray and at serious risk of eroding the basic democratic principles of transparency and accountability, an influential parliamentary committee reports. The damning report says the plans are incoherent and inconsistent and that broad political support for devolution of power is being undermined by differing interpretations of what it actually means.

Giving white paper

HM Government

London: TSO, 2011 (Cm 8084)

This White Paper aims to make it easier and more compelling for people to give time and money to causes they support. The Government will be investing over 40 million in volunteering and social action over the next two years. An additional 80 million investment in Community First will encourage social action in neighbourhoods with significant deprivation and low social capital. The Social Action Fund and Challenge Prizes will support models that make giving easier; including giving time through mobile phones. The paper outlines a number of ways in extra which support for charitable organisations will be provided, including:

  • Giving to be made easier through new ways to donate money, including ATM giving and 'Round Pound' schemes to give small amounts when paying by card.
  • Removing barriers to giving time to charitable work by reducing Criminal Records Bureau checks to common-sense levels.
  • Investment in the new Philanthropy UK website and the Do-it volunteering database.
  • Community organisers and business connectors to galvanise social action in communities.
  • Inheritance tax to be reduced to 36% for those who leave 10% or more of their estate to charity.
  • Changes to Gift Aid - enabling online filing to reduce paperwork

Whitehall pores over 'big society' bill in bid to avoid rerun of NHS fiasco

A. Stratton

The Guardian, June 20th 2011, p. 4

The government is preparing to publish its long-awaited and fiercely contested public services reform white paper and has begun to circulate the finished document - dubbed the 'big society bill' - around Whitehall. After intense debate, the legislation, which has been delayed for five months, is earmarked for publication next month and is intended to steady the course of the government's reform programme after its plans for the NHS were waylaid. In the next few weeks, the legislation will be stress-tested across Whitehall to try to prevent it being beset by the kind of problems surrounding the controversial NHS bill.

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