Most think the big society will not be achieved, poll suggests

Survey by nfpSynergy finds that only 9 per cent think government's flagship policy will do what it claims


Most people think the aims of the government’s big society will not be realised, according to new nfpSynergy research.

A survey by the consultancy of 1,000 nationally representative British adults found that only 9 per cent of respondents agreed the government would be successful in its big society aims; 59 per cent believed it would not.

Thirty-nine per cent of respondents said they thought the government should drop the whole idea, although 29 per cent said it should not.

"This does suggest substantial problems in the way the policy has been rolled out, explained and promoted," nfpSynergy says in a newsletter to be released today.

The survey also found that most people are still unsure about what the big society is. Only 20 per cent agreed the idea was "clear and easy to understand".

"The fact that four in five people still find the idea unclear and hard to understand suggests that something has gone deeply awry at the level of concept, execution, or both," the article says.

Asked to select the groups identified as involved in big society policies, 72 per cent of respondents named community groups and 66 per cent said volunteer centres.

The article says that the groups most strongly associated with the big society agenda are also the ones currently facing "dire funding shortfalls".

"The question is how such groups best capitalise on the explosion of interest and support for the crucial social infrastructure they provide - while extricating themselves from both ever-dwindling state support and from close identification with what many warn has become an increasingly toxic political brand," it says.

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