Our response to the Civil Society Futures Inquiry

Lloyds Bank Foundation Chief Exec Paul Streets speaking

Following the publication of Today’s Civil Society Futures Inquiry, Paul Streets, Chief Executive, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales said:

“As today’s Civil Society Futures report makes clear in a time of unprecedented upheaval and change in our country a strong civil society is urgently needed to shape the future. Civil society has always responded in times of greatest need, recognising that neither the market nor the state can do it alone. But as the inquiry has found, too many people in communities across the country feel left behind by a politics, economy and society that is not working for them. We agree with the inquiry that we, therefore, need a civil society that shifts power, revolutionises accountability, builds real, meaningful connections and invests in building trust.

“Many of the small and local charities we partner with across the country already embody the characteristics that the report calls for, building connections and shifting power to people and communities day in day out. The report also recognises, however, that civil society does not operate in a vacuum and that the effect of austerity, shrinking local authority budgets and increasing market pressures have had a major impact on its ability to make positive change. Whilst civil society should seek to be the master of its own fate, unless we see a clear and consistent change in the wider environment and in particular in the level, distribution and commissioning of public funding it will be very hard to achieve the thriving civil society that we need. It is therefore vital that the calls in this inquiry are heard, reflected and acted on, not just across civil society but in Whitehall and town halls up and down the country.”

The Civil Society Futures Inquiry is a two-year independent inquiry into the future of civil society. Chaired by Julia Unwin the inquiry seeks to give the sector the tools it needs to address and find solutions to challenges facing society. Lloyds Bank Foundation are one of the contributing funders to the project.

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