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Civil Society Strategy

Volume 631: debated on Thursday 16 November 2017

I wish to inform the House today of the Government’s intention to develop a civil society strategy.

Civil society plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across our country, and in helping to address some burning injustices.

This strategy will provide an opportunity to explore ways to build new partnerships within and between sectors and communities, so that we can better mobilise resources and expertise and find practical new solutions to the problems we face. It will reaffirm the value that Government places on civil society. It will explore what more Government can do to support its work.

Civil society in England is broad. It encompasses the work of individuals, charities, youth organisations and communities. Civil society is increasingly diverse, with growing numbers of social enterprises, mission-led businesses and public service mutuals, as well as many more private businesses and investors that want to make a meaningful contribution.

I would like the strategy to help shape the future direction for our work with and for civil society, and encompass all who have a role to play in building a stronger and fairer society.

It will be developed through dialogue and debate with people, groups, and organisations across government, businesses and wider civil society. It will build on engagements to date, including work with young people and youth organisations, as well as work to grow social impact investing, among others.

The Office for Civil Society, in the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport, will lead this work, with input from the Department for Communities and Local Government and other Departments. A listening exercise will be launched in the new year and findings reported later in the year.