Tory MPs have no idea what David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ really means – as it has never been explained to them, it was claimed today.
The Prime Minister describes the concept as ”empowering” communities by handing down responsibility from central government.
But yesterday Ian Liddell-Grainger, 51, Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said he has never been briefed on the policy.
The father-of-three said the concept was never raised on the doorstep during last year’s election and never is, even now.
He said: ”I don’t really understand – I assume you let people do their own thing.
”I think it is about letting people help themselves, but nobody has ever talked about it to me.
”Suffice to say it is about people helping themselves rather than the state always leaning over and getting involved.
”But as to how it would operate, I am not entirely sure.”
Charities also voiced concerns that the Big Society is smokescreen for disguising government cuts.
Union leaders back this claim and are gearing up for major protests against the cuts, and possible strikes to protect their budgets.
Campaigners have urged councils not to slash funding for vulnerable people, through the Supporting People programme, which provides services for women fleeing domestic violence, the homeless and for older citizens.
The Government has slashed funding for the programme nationally by 12 per cent but many councils plan to go much further, with a cut of 18 per cent planned in Somerset.
Jenny Allen, Federation South West regional manager said she was also dubious about the Big Society idea.
She said: ”We have grave concerns about the proposed level of cuts we are hearing about.”
The 18% example is fine.. But the situation is much worse than that. Here in Nottinghamshire, my homeless prevention services are being cut by 60%..