Great and the good line up to keep tabs on big society

Acevo sets up panel to scrutinise the government's flagship initiative

Lord Rennard
Lord Rennard

The chief executives body Acevo has set up a high-powered committee to scrutinise the government's big society agenda and advise charities on how they can play a part in it.

Called the Commission on Big Society, the group will be chaired by Lord Rennard, the former chief executive of the Liberal Democrats. Other members include the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, Louise Casey, the government's Victims' Commissioner, and Paul Boateng, the former Labour minister.

It will meet every three weeks, starting in January, and plans to produce a report in the spring.

A spokeswoman for Acevo said the group would hold consultation events across the country and report back to the commission on the outcomes of these.

She said the aim of the commission was to "articulate a vision for what charity leaders want to achieve through the big society agenda, and recommend practical steps that the government, third sector organisations and others need to take to make that vision a reality".

Lord Rennard is due to launch the commission today. Speaking at an event to mark its launch, he will say that the sector must think through the practical actions needed to make the big society agenda work.

THE BIG PANEL - Members of the commission

Lord Rennard (chair): Liberal Democrat peer, former chief executive of the Liberal Democrats

Hilary Belcher, Director, Mosaic Clubhouse

Paul Boateng: Former chief secretary to the Treasury, former High Commissioner to South Africa

Nick Boles MP: Conservative MP, PPS to Nick Gibb, minister for schools, and former director of the think tank Policy Exchange

Louise Casey: Victims' Commissioner to the government, former coordinator of the Respect Taskforce

The Right Reverend Richard Chartres: Bishop of London, former Gresham Professor of Divinity

Phil Collins: Former speechwriter for Tony Blair, trustee of the think tank Demos, writer for The Times

Matt Hyde: Chief executive, National Union of Students

Peter McGurn: Chief executive, Goodwin Trust

Michael Quicke: Chief executive, investment house CCLA

Srabani Sen: Chief executive, Contact a Family

Jane Slowey CBE: Chief executive, Foyer Federation, and chair of Skills - Third Sector

Dame Clare: Tickell: Chief executive, Action for Children, and chair of the government's early years review.

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