Cuts undermine Oxfordshire's 'Big Society'

Wood Farm Youth Centre volunteers

David Cameron

First published in Headlines by

CUTTING public spending has undermined Oxfordshire’s Big Society, according to those on the volunteer frontline in our county.

Speaking in London yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron said the concept of empowering residents to run services such as libraries, community transport or post offices, was “central to social recovery”.

Witney MP Mr Cameron has come under fire for the initiative but has insisted it was his “absolute passion”.

However, 50 miles away on Oxford’s Wood Farm Estate, the unpaid parents who run a youth club fear public spending cuts will put their project in jeopardy.

And the head of Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA), Alison Baxter, said the lack of cash for voluntary groups was making it harder to be part of the Big Society idea.

Wood Farm Youth Club is due to lose its paid youth worker as part of Oxfordshire County Council’s spending cuts. Its six volunteers fear that without that support they will not be able to carry on.

Richard Bryant, chairman of the management committee, said: “It could undermine and destroy what is a good volunteer project.”

He said the club was volunteer-run, but that was built upon the expertise of the youth workers.

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“It is difficult to expect volunteers to take complete responsibility for the youth club, that sometimes involves working on difficult situations,” he added.

Last year, the Oxford Mail reported that police, young people and residents feared antisocial behaviour would rise if youth centres were closed. Ms Baxter, chief executive of volunteering umbrella organisation OCVA, said the Wood Farm scenario was a “classic example”.

She added: “There are high levels of anxiety among people in the voluntary sector because they are seeing funding being cut.

“Volunteering comes at a cost, even if that is only a couple of thousand pounds to pay for a room or cover expenses, so that those not on a high income can afford to volunteer.

“Without that money, people cannot afford to pay for the petrol to drive an elderly neighbour to hospital, for example.”

In a speech to social entrepreneurs yesterday, Mr Cameron denied the big society was a cover for cuts. He said “This is my absolute passion. It’s a different way of governing; a different way of going about trying to change our country for the better.”

Oxfordshire County Council, which is set to agree £119m of budget cuts today, has created a £600,000 Big Society fund, and invited local people to run threatened services including youth clubs and libraries.

Council spokesman Louise Mendonca said: “The proposals are that youth services are delivered as part of the more integrated early intervention service.”

Comments (22)

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  • Score: 0

11:26am Tue 15 Feb 11

Darkforbid says...

Big Society is about the people solving their own problems without expecting the government to pay for it

Or expecting volunteer to work alongside those being paid to do less

“Libraries, community transport or post offices, was “central to social recovery”

The main users of these services are the ones who love the state hand out system

BTW use the bus too travel to services not affected by cuts don't expect duplication of same services everywhere.
Big Society is about the people solving their own problems without expecting the government to pay for it Or expecting volunteer to work alongside those being paid to do less “Libraries, community transport or post offices, was “central to social recovery” The main users of these services are the ones who love the state hand out system BTW use the bus too travel to services not affected by cuts don't expect duplication of same services everywhere. Darkforbid
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Tue 15 Feb 11

caveman123 says...

This is Government spin to cover up the massive cuts that are on the way. Everybody is going to be worse off and the middle ground is going to be hit hard!
This is Government spin to cover up the massive cuts that are on the way. Everybody is going to be worse off and the middle ground is going to be hit hard! caveman123
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Shirley Burnham says...

Darkforbid - it is not actually the "government" that pays for it; it is the people who pay taxes. These are monies paid in good faith for which individuals expect a decent return. Your sweeping statement about "those who love the state hand-out system" is insulting. Think of it next time you show up at your local GP's practice or A&E at the hospital, need carers for a dependent relative (overnight, privately paid, up to £100 a session) or phone the Fire Brigade. Perhaps you should invest in some buckets of sand to show your are not reliant upon anyone in the event of a blaze. It is reassuring to note that you do not require the services of a Post Office like the underdogs you describe. No friends perhaps to whom to write ?
Darkforbid - it is not actually the "government" that pays for it; it is the people who pay taxes. These are monies paid in good faith for which individuals expect a decent return. Your sweeping statement about "those who love the state hand-out system" is insulting. Think of it next time you show up at your local GP's practice or A&E at the hospital, need carers for a dependent relative (overnight, privately paid, up to £100 a session) or phone the Fire Brigade. Perhaps you should invest in some buckets of sand to show your are not reliant upon anyone in the event of a blaze. It is reassuring to note that you do not require the services of a Post Office like the underdogs you describe. No friends perhaps to whom to write ? Shirley Burnham
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Darkforbid says...

-Darkforbid - it is not actually the "government" that pays for it; it is the people who pay taxes. These are monies paid in good faith for which individuals expect a decent return. Your sweeping statement about "those who love the state hand-out system" is insulting. Think of it next time you show up at your local GP's practice or A&E at the hospital, need carers for a dependent relative (overnight, privately paid, up to £100 a session) or phone the Fire Brigade. Perhaps you should invest in some buckets of sand to show your are not reliant upon anyone in the event of a blaze. It is reassuring to note that you do not require the services of a Post Office like the underdogs you describe.-

And what does this have too do with saving the Tax money that is wasted on people who will not travel to the services provided... lets spend more so the Tax goes up!


Or do you expect to charge the future for your luxury lifestyles of today?


-No friends perhaps to whom to write ?-


Ever heard of email
-Darkforbid - it is not actually the "government" that pays for it; it is the people who pay taxes. These are monies paid in good faith for which individuals expect a decent return. Your sweeping statement about "those who love the state hand-out system" is insulting. Think of it next time you show up at your local GP's practice or A&E at the hospital, need carers for a dependent relative (overnight, privately paid, up to £100 a session) or phone the Fire Brigade. Perhaps you should invest in some buckets of sand to show your are not reliant upon anyone in the event of a blaze. It is reassuring to note that you do not require the services of a Post Office like the underdogs you describe.- And what does this have too do with saving the Tax money that is wasted on people who will not travel to the services provided... lets spend more so the Tax goes up! Or do you expect to charge the future for your luxury lifestyles of today? -No friends perhaps to whom to write ?- Ever heard of email Darkforbid
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Lord Palmerstone says...

I think he's very brave, even to the point of foolhardiness to launch a scheme at a time like this. It's not so much the inevitable reductions in the grotesque overspending by the Taxeating Failures 97-10 (catchy name, eh? Better than NuLabour which even Millipede is abolishing) but that we have pretty much the highest taxes in the world. It is not unrespectable, I think, to say "Half of what I work for is taken away from me by the state in direct and indirect taxes. Let the state help worthwhile people, not just the scroungers and the fat-pig-state-jobswo
rths. I've done my bit. My family needs more of its own money to be part of the Big Society"
I think he's very brave, even to the point of foolhardiness to launch a scheme at a time like this. It's not so much the inevitable reductions in the grotesque overspending by the Taxeating Failures 97-10 (catchy name, eh? Better than NuLabour which even Millipede is abolishing) but that we have pretty much the highest taxes in the world. It is not unrespectable, I think, to say "Half of what I work for is taken away from me by the state in direct and indirect taxes. Let the state help worthwhile people, not just the scroungers and the fat-pig-state-jobswo rths. I've done my bit. My family needs more of its own money to be part of the Big Society" Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Adrian1 says...

Doing a little volunteering here and there for responsible bodies I don't see how, when you take the remunerated / paid responsible body away how you'll have any direction for or indeed volunteers for such work in the first place. I had a day from work for copice management, ably lead and explained by responsible parties as to why, how, with what, tools provided and their safe use. They were qualified and insured for the days work. Take them away and we have,... a bunch of folks in work passing a weed choked woodland thinking it's a shame no-one can do anything about it. Canal holidays I suspect may become a thing of the past. Talking to the lock operators - not the hand locks, the machine or water powered river interface variety they are apparently being told they can do their jobs now as a volunteer. So for no money you can ensure no-one falls in, the machinery is maintained, boats have safe handling through etc. and be responsible for that while having your benefits cut for not being available for work. It's not just total madness it's,... well you think of a word for it, how do such ideas even cross allegedly intelligent peoples minds let alone get implimented.
Doing a little volunteering here and there for responsible bodies I don't see how, when you take the remunerated / paid responsible body away how you'll have any direction for or indeed volunteers for such work in the first place. I had a day from work for copice management, ably lead and explained by responsible parties as to why, how, with what, tools provided and their safe use. They were qualified and insured for the days work. Take them away and we have,... a bunch of folks in work passing a weed choked woodland thinking it's a shame no-one can do anything about it. Canal holidays I suspect may become a thing of the past. Talking to the lock operators - not the hand locks, the machine or water powered river interface variety they are apparently being told they can do their jobs now as a volunteer. So for no money you can ensure no-one falls in, the machinery is maintained, boats have safe handling through etc. and be responsible for that while having your benefits cut for not being available for work. It's not just total madness it's,... well you think of a word for it, how do such ideas even cross allegedly intelligent peoples minds let alone get implimented. Adrian1
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Scrofulous Serf says...

Lord Palmerstone (sic), tut, tut making up the facts to fit the prejudice again. 2009 marginal tax rates by country: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Congo Japan, Ireland, Israel, Australia, China, Croatia,Germany, Italy, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Slovenia, Chile, France, Greece, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, UK (25th). Get your nose out of the Daily Mail man, there's a real world out there if you would only take the time to look.
Lord Palmerstone (sic), tut, tut making up the facts to fit the prejudice again. 2009 marginal tax rates by country: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Congo Japan, Ireland, Israel, Australia, China, Croatia,Germany, Italy, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Slovenia, Chile, France, Greece, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, UK (25th). Get your nose out of the Daily Mail man, there's a real world out there if you would only take the time to look. Scrofulous Serf
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Lord Palmerstone says...

Well of course the Guardian is the fount of all wisdom. I am very happy to declare my ignorance. To me a marginal tax rate is what, for example an over 65 year old pays on income between the age related allowance and the next step. The object is to get them onto standard rate as soon as possible. If you mean some term of art you'll have to say because I don't think many people will be familiar with the concept. But, Congo , China, Croatia ,Papua New Guinea, Chile, South Africa, my, my , we are in good company.I'll bet their HMRC's are a model of eficiency, nearly as good as Italy's. It's what you pay, not what you might pay if you felt like it.
Well of course the Guardian is the fount of all wisdom. I am very happy to declare my ignorance. To me a marginal tax rate is what, for example an over 65 year old pays on income between the age related allowance and the next step. The object is to get them onto standard rate as soon as possible. If you mean some term of art you'll have to say because I don't think many people will be familiar with the concept. But, Congo , China, Croatia ,Papua New Guinea, Chile, South Africa, my, my , we are in good company.I'll bet their HMRC's are a model of eficiency, nearly as good as Italy's. It's what you pay, not what you might pay if you felt like it. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

5:27pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Niko Bellic says...

Palmerstone, you do realise that China is the second biggest economy in the world and widely expected to overtake the US as number 1 within a few years?
.
I wont leave any further comment about this story, although I will refer contributors to the above poll where 3/4 of people say the Big (Issue) Society is a cover for cuts.
Palmerstone, you do realise that China is the second biggest economy in the world and widely expected to overtake the US as number 1 within a few years? . I wont leave any further comment about this story, although I will refer contributors to the above poll where 3/4 of people say the Big (Issue) Society is a cover for cuts. Niko Bellic
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Tue 15 Feb 11

riman09 says...

It is mind boggling for anyone in their right minds, let alone a PM, to expect that people will suddenly volunteer just because their job has become 'non-paying'.
How are these people meant to survive unless they are millionaires like the majority of Mr Chameleon's cabinet? It shows an arrogance beyond belief. They obviously do not know how the other half lives.
It is mind boggling for anyone in their right minds, let alone a PM, to expect that people will suddenly volunteer just because their job has become 'non-paying'. How are these people meant to survive unless they are millionaires like the majority of Mr Chameleon's cabinet? It shows an arrogance beyond belief. They obviously do not know how the other half lives. riman09
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Tue 15 Feb 11

riman09 says...

It is mind boggling for anyone in their right minds, let alone a PM, to expect that people will suddenly volunteer just because their job has become 'non-paying'.
How are these people meant to survive unless they are millionaires like the majority of Mr Chameleon's cabinet? It shows an arrogance beyond belief. They obviously do not know how the other half lives.
It is mind boggling for anyone in their right minds, let alone a PM, to expect that people will suddenly volunteer just because their job has become 'non-paying'. How are these people meant to survive unless they are millionaires like the majority of Mr Chameleon's cabinet? It shows an arrogance beyond belief. They obviously do not know how the other half lives. riman09
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Darkforbid says...

Not always true but in most cases, the volunteers do most of the work with the paid staff doing very little

Is this fair?

Well at least in the project I’ve seen...
Not always true but in most cases, the volunteers do most of the work with the paid staff doing very little Is this fair? Well at least in the project I’ve seen... Darkforbid
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Scrofulous Serf says...

Lord Palmerstone (sic).. so you agree your assertion that we are one of the highest tax-paying countries was wrong, based on the facts. No wriggling now.
.

(I'd almost be disappointed if you *had* tarnished your reputation for obfuscation.)
Lord Palmerstone (sic).. so you agree your assertion that we are one of the highest tax-paying countries was wrong, based on the facts. No wriggling now. . (I'd almost be disappointed if you *had* tarnished your reputation for obfuscation.) Scrofulous Serf
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Tue 15 Feb 11

Mr peter Mcvey says...

Scrofulous Serf wrote:
Lord Palmerstone (sic), tut, tut making up the facts to fit the prejudice again. 2009 marginal tax rates by country: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Congo Japan, Ireland, Israel, Australia, China, Croatia,Germany, Italy, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Slovenia, Chile, France, Greece, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, UK (25th). Get your nose out of the Daily Mail man, there's a real world out there if you would only take the time to look.
Sorry Scorry (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it). But we can all pick out certain little facts to support our argument. We are the highest taxpayers in the world, Fuel, alcohol, tobacco, VAT, stealth tax. If you can find a higher tax rate for these combined in any country........then I will retire from this site.
[quote][p][bold]Scrofulous Serf[/bold] wrote: Lord Palmerstone (sic), tut, tut making up the facts to fit the prejudice again. 2009 marginal tax rates by country: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Congo Japan, Ireland, Israel, Australia, China, Croatia,Germany, Italy, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Slovenia, Chile, France, Greece, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, UK (25th). Get your nose out of the Daily Mail man, there's a real world out there if you would only take the time to look.[/p][/quote]Sorry Scorry (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it). But we can all pick out certain little facts to support our argument. We are the highest taxpayers in the world, Fuel, alcohol, tobacco, VAT, stealth tax. If you can find a higher tax rate for these combined in any country........then I will retire from this site. Mr peter Mcvey
  • Score: 0

10:35am Wed 16 Feb 11

Keith Mitchell is a real good looking boy says...

Mr peter Mcvey wrote:
Scrofulous Serf wrote: Lord Palmerstone (sic), tut, tut making up the facts to fit the prejudice again. 2009 marginal tax rates by country: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Congo Japan, Ireland, Israel, Australia, China, Croatia,Germany, Italy, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Slovenia, Chile, France, Greece, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, UK (25th). Get your nose out of the Daily Mail man, there's a real world out there if you would only take the time to look.
Sorry Scorry (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it). But we can all pick out certain little facts to support our argument. We are the highest taxpayers in the world, Fuel, alcohol, tobacco, VAT, stealth tax. If you can find a higher tax rate for these combined in any country........then I will retire from this site.
He did, bye.
[quote][p][bold]Mr peter Mcvey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Scrofulous Serf[/bold] wrote: Lord Palmerstone (sic), tut, tut making up the facts to fit the prejudice again. 2009 marginal tax rates by country: Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Congo Japan, Ireland, Israel, Australia, China, Croatia,Germany, Italy, Spain, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Slovenia, Chile, France, Greece, Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, UK (25th). Get your nose out of the Daily Mail man, there's a real world out there if you would only take the time to look.[/p][/quote]Sorry Scorry (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it). But we can all pick out certain little facts to support our argument. We are the highest taxpayers in the world, Fuel, alcohol, tobacco, VAT, stealth tax. If you can find a higher tax rate for these combined in any country........then I will retire from this site.[/p][/quote]He did, bye. Keith Mitchell is a real good looking boy
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Fri 18 Feb 11

Lord Palmerstone says...

Scrofulous Serf wrote:
Lord Palmerstone (sic).. so you agree your assertion that we are one of the highest tax-paying countries was wrong, based on the facts. No wriggling now. . (I'd almost be disappointed if you *had* tarnished your reputation for obfuscation.)
Well scoffulous, that's you right then and the rest of us wrong. Do most people in communist Chna even pay tax-on about £60 a month? I don't know, but since you've not defined what you mean by "marginal" the discussion is in a vacuum. So say what it is and we can consider it. For example I was under the impression that Italy and Switzerland don't have a Death Tax. The impact of this tax on me has been enormous, equivalent to nearly a decade of income and National Insurance Tax, so if "marginal" doesn't include it we're not comparing like with like. I'm trying to be sensible and not make cheap shots but it's a bit pointless really because your socialism is not a rational system it's only a creed or faith.So I'm the lovely Dawkins and you're the Archdruid.
[quote][p][bold]Scrofulous Serf[/bold] wrote: Lord Palmerstone (sic).. so you agree your assertion that we are one of the highest tax-paying countries was wrong, based on the facts. No wriggling now. . (I'd almost be disappointed if you *had* tarnished your reputation for obfuscation.)[/p][/quote]Well scoffulous, that's you right then and the rest of us wrong. Do most people in communist Chna even pay tax-on about £60 a month? I don't know, but since you've not defined what you mean by "marginal" the discussion is in a vacuum. So say what it is and we can consider it. For example I was under the impression that Italy and Switzerland don't have a Death Tax. The impact of this tax on me has been enormous, equivalent to nearly a decade of income and National Insurance Tax, so if "marginal" doesn't include it we're not comparing like with like. I'm trying to be sensible and not make cheap shots but it's a bit pointless really because your socialism is not a rational system it's only a creed or faith.So I'm the lovely Dawkins and you're the Archdruid. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Fri 18 Feb 11

Scaramuccia says...

Shirley you are quite right and that fool Palmerstone still peddles myths about our taxes being the highest ion the world- go to the nordic countries and look at the fatastic lifestyles, education, health service and look at their taxes - they by and large are happy to pay for a decent society with god public services and good welfare for those who cannot find work or are unable to do so. I reckon most in this country would be happy to pay a bit more too except for the bigotted neo-libral free market small govenment supporting half-wits that seem to dominate dicsussions on here - if you love this so much go live in teh USA and join those nuitters in teh Tea party and sarah palins right wing fanatics. Two words - Big Society - two more ? Bull S***t and the peple will not be conned at the next election Cleggameron will be history.
Shirley you are quite right and that fool Palmerstone still peddles myths about our taxes being the highest ion the world- go to the nordic countries and look at the fatastic lifestyles, education, health service and look at their taxes - they by and large are happy to pay for a decent society with god public services and good welfare for those who cannot find work or are unable to do so. I reckon most in this country would be happy to pay a bit more too except for the bigotted neo-libral free market small govenment supporting half-wits that seem to dominate dicsussions on here - if you love this so much go live in teh USA and join those nuitters in teh Tea party and sarah palins right wing fanatics. Two words - Big Society - two more ? Bull S***t and the peple will not be conned at the next election Cleggameron will be history. Scaramuccia
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Fri 18 Feb 11

Lord Palmerstone says...

Scara, you're a star. The highest taxed country in the world appears to be Zimbabwe. By your definition it must be paradise. Go there. Enjoy!
Scara, you're a star. The highest taxed country in the world appears to be Zimbabwe. By your definition it must be paradise. Go there. Enjoy! Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Sun 20 Feb 11

Volterra says...

http://www.cato.org/
pressroom.php?displa
y=news&id=125

The Nordic model is not all you claim it to be and fundamentally unsustainable in the long term.

We do suffer a very high overall tax burden and if you take into account the significant additional tax that would be required to balance our books (assuming you don't wish to cut spending); this would be even higher by another 5-10 percentage points. Bringing us higher than all 'inner 6' EU nations, far higher than the likes of Australia, NZ, Canada, Japan, the US, Switzerland and light years away from the poverty ridden societies of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
http://www.cato.org/ pressroom.php?displa y=news&id=125 The Nordic model is not all you claim it to be and fundamentally unsustainable in the long term. We do suffer a very high overall tax burden and if you take into account the significant additional tax that would be required to balance our books (assuming you don't wish to cut spending); this would be even higher by another 5-10 percentage points. Bringing us higher than all 'inner 6' EU nations, far higher than the likes of Australia, NZ, Canada, Japan, the US, Switzerland and light years away from the poverty ridden societies of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Volterra
  • Score: 0

11:38am Mon 21 Feb 11

Scaramuccia says...

Volterra more hogwash - people have been saying the nordioc modle is unsutanable for years and it is still going strong. The people who have been saying it are like minded idiots who think feree market capitalism is the only way - duh it has FAILED with a capital F - we need more regulation not less - as can be seen by the failure of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling ( which they freely admit to now) to rein in the banks leading to us having to bail them out.
Volterra more hogwash - people have been saying the nordioc modle is unsutanable for years and it is still going strong. The people who have been saying it are like minded idiots who think feree market capitalism is the only way - duh it has FAILED with a capital F - we need more regulation not less - as can be seen by the failure of Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling ( which they freely admit to now) to rein in the banks leading to us having to bail them out. Scaramuccia
  • Score: 0

7:59pm Mon 21 Feb 11

Lord Palmerstone says...

"like minded idiots who think feree market capitalism is the only way - duh it has FAILED with a capital F - we need more regulation not less"
As a matter of interest, the stuff you're taking, you know, which makes you mangle words, what was it doing to you in 1989? Were the traffic lights always green for you then? Yes, of course regulation, a la Soviet Union, is our only hope. Good luck on reducing to 30 mls a day.
"like minded idiots who think feree market capitalism is the only way - duh it has FAILED with a capital F - we need more regulation not less" As a matter of interest, the stuff you're taking, you know, which makes you mangle words, what was it doing to you in 1989? Were the traffic lights always green for you then? Yes, of course regulation, a la Soviet Union, is our only hope. Good luck on reducing to 30 mls a day. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

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