Essex council to embrace ‘Big Society’ and listen to voluntary sector

A PLEA to get ideas heard from the voluntary sector has been met with a warm response by county council leaders this week.

Essex County Council had been told that there was a failure in ideas getting through from volunteer groups, many of which play a major part in front line services.

As a result the council has launched a county-wide ‘Call for Ideas’ initiative and is seeking bright sparks from community groups and voluntary organisations.

Council leader Peter Martin said, “The voluntary sector has expressed the view to me that their ideas do not get heard as often as they would like. This is why I have decided to offer this simple and direct method of consulting with them.

“I hope that all voluntary and community groups feel able use this opportunity to share their ideas on how we as council can work better to serve the residents of Essex.

“I want to unlock the potential of communities being more closely involved in the running of public services, especially at this time of financial strain”

The aim is to work closer together in order to deliver excellent services for residents and make the Government’s ‘Big Society’ a reality in the area.

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A one-page document will be available from the council on the web or via e-mail and organisations can send in their ideas.

These can be for any number of things – service delivery, use of assets, co-production, partnership working, ways of integrating the community into council decision making, or even just better ways of the council working.

Copies of the form can be requested by emailing