Civil Society Strategy: reaction on social media

How charity figures have responded to the government's proposals for the public, private and voluntary sectors

The release of the Civil Society Strategy has caught many by surprise, coming during the middle of summer when parliament is in recess.

However, figures from the sector have been quick to respond to the 123-page document that laid out the government’s plan on how it will "work with and for civil society in the long term to create a country that works for everyone".

Andrew O’Brien, director of external affairs at Social Enterprise UK, called the strategy a "good springboard" for social enterprise and said it demonstrated "bold ambition" from the government, although he also described it as "vague" and "leaving a lot to follow up".

Danny Kruger, adviser to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, which produced the strategy, offered a lengthy Twitter thread soon after the report's launch, which was described by Karl Wilding, director of public policy and volunteering at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, as being better than the original document. 

In conclusion, Kruger said: "The Civil Society Strategy is the start, not the end, of a process and part of a conversation among equals. We want to work with others to strengthen the voluntary sector, put social purpose at the heart of business and transform public services. Please join us!"

Other figures from the sector were quick to add their views on the report, with some expressing surprise at the timing of the launch. Elizabeth Chamberlain, head of public policy and services at the NCVO, wrote: "With parliament in recess and right in the middle of the summer holidays, it seems an odd time to launch something that will inform government’s relationship with civil society for the next decade.

"I doubt there are many holidaymakers who will want to use their data allowance to download a document that is over 120 pages long."

Meanwhile, Paul Streets, chief executive of the Lloyds Bank Foundation, welcomed the report but added that there was a need to "focus on acute issues facing marginalised people and places".

Co-Operatives UK also focused on local needs in its early response.

As the morning progressed and others had an opportunity to read the report in more detail, more overt criticism began to appear with some who thought the strategy uncomfortably familiar.

 

Others critiqued the strategy in the context of previous government policies.

Others just saw a long day and weekend ahead.

Others decided to take their time to digest the information before offering their views.

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