The government has announced its new strategy for supporting and promoting civil society. The DCMS defines it’s new approach with the aim to support “organisations and individuals working to create social value, enriching lives and building a fairer society for all.”
The report documents can be downloaded from the DCMS website.
Some of the initial things that stand out from the report are the governments intention for prioritising community development appraoches:
The government has a vision of the UK with better connected communities, more neighbourliness, and businesses which strengthen society. Technology enables strong communities rather than enabling disconnection and isolation.
People are empowered to take responsibility for their neighbourhoods. Power is decentralised so that local officials and professionals are properly accountable to local people, and trusted to do their job without bureaucratic interference. The provision of services is seen as the business of the community, not solely the responsibility of government, and providers are drawn from a broad range of suppliers from the public sector and beyond. All communities, regardless of levels of segregation and deprivation, are able to take advantage of these opportunities.
We will need to work through this report with a fine comb to see what is relevent to Community Media. The CMA gave a submission as part of the consultation, but on my first read there is no explicit reference to an independent community media movement that government recognises and supports.
This might not be the end of the argument, however, as I’m sure we can take the elements that we need from the appraoch to charities and civic-volunteer groups, and fit them against our agenda of open, accountable, local and independent community media.
Lots to read and discuss.