The Big Society – can David Cameron tell us what it is?

On 30th June 2013 The Observer ran article on the  “Big Society” network given £1m grant despite failures by Daniel Buffer.

The Society Network Foundation  was incorporated on 31st August 2010. On the 8th September 2010 a couple of amendments were made to its Articles of Association. On the 14th April 2011 they changed the crucial “Objects”  from:

“ to advance citizenship and/or community development for the public generally through and in particular…. the promotion of civic responsibility, volunteering and advancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the voluntary sector by any charitable means”, which was changed  to:

“  to develop the capacity and skills of the members of socially and/or economically disadvantaged communities in such a way that they are better able to identify and meeting the needs and to enable them to participate more fully in society as responsible citizens through the participation in the democratic decision making process”.

The Big Society Network was launched by David Cameron in July 2010 even though the charitable arm, the Society Network Foundation, had not been incorporated till a month later in August 2010.The  Society Network Foundation only has three trustees – a woman and two men all white with no diverse representation. On the website for the Big Society Network there are  listed two trustees of the Society Network Foundation. The Big Society Network Ltd was incorporated as private company limited by guarantee on 24th March 2010. On the 2nd April 2013 the Big Society Network was served notice that it would be struck off the register and dissolved within three months; this was subsequently with drawn on the 24th April 2013. The accounts for the year ending 31st March 2012 for the Big Society Network Ltd record  three directors none of whom who are listed on the Big Society Network website. The abbreviated  unaudited report and accounts for the Society Network Foundation for the year ending 31st March 2012 state that the “company was dormant throughout the current year and previous period”. The abbreviated and unaudited accounts for the year ending  31st March 2012 for the Big Society Network Ltd show a negative reserve amount of £25,140  for the year ending 31st March 2011 and a negative reserve figure of £180,718 for the year ending 31st March 2012. The article reports that three million pounds has been secured in by the Big Society Network and the Society Network Foundation.

Perhaps David Cameron can explain what he means by the  term “big Society” because from the objects of the Society Network Foundation, that were subject to amendment, it is as clear as mud. Secondly is it possible for the hard pressed taxpayer to find out where the three million has gone as abbreviated accounts are about as much use as a broken adding machine, thirdly could the public find out  who is running these companies as two charitable trustees of the Society Network Foundation appear on the The Big Society Network website also as trustees – but a limited company without charitable status does not have trustees.

Readers could well be mistaken that this is taken from a Marx Brothers script but unfortunately not, this is Mr Cameron in charge of Great Britain PLC. David Cameron at the last election banged on about broken Britain perhaps he can now spend some time on sorting out his “big Society” corporate shambles.


Attached documents (click to download)

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