Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse

The organisation was given at least £2.5 million of National Lottery funding and public-sector grants despite having no record of charitable activity

David Cameron’s flagship Big Society Network is being investigated by the Charity Commission over allegations that it misused government funding and made inappropriate payments to its directors – including a Tory donor.

The organisation, which was launched by the Prime Minister in 2010, was given at least £2.5 million of National Lottery funding and public-sector grants despite having no record of charitable activity.

The Independent has learnt that it has now been wound up, having used much of the money on projects that came nowhere near delivering on their promised objectives.

Two senior figures on government grant awarding bodies have also made allegations that they were pressured into handing over money to the Big Society Network despite severe reservations about the viability of the projects they were being asked to support.

Liam Black, a former trustee of Nesta, which was then a public body sponsored by the Department for Business, said Nesta had been “forced” to give grants that totalled £480,000 to the Big Society Network in 2010 without a competitive pitch. He described it as a “scandalous waste of money”.

Another senior figure involved in the decision to award £299,800 from the Cabinet Office to the organisation said the funding request had initially been turned down.

“When we did the analysis we turned them down because the bid did not stack up,” they said. “But we were told to go back and change the criteria to make it work.”

read furthe rdetails here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-camerons-big-society-in-tatters-as-charity-watchdog-launches-investigation-into-claims-of-government-funding-misuse-9629848.html

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2 thoughts on “Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse

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