by Milena Buchs, Rebecca Edwards and Graham Smith, TSRC, University of Southampton
The environment has only relatively recently become a significant issue in third sector policy. Arguably its high point came with the publication in March 2010 of Shaping Our Future by the Joint Ministerial and Third Sector Task Force on Climate Change, the Environment and Sustainability. The timing of the Task Force report was politically inopportune given the change of government a few months later. This paper reviews the development of the third sector and environment policy agenda in the last years of the Labour administration, comparing this to the emerging agenda under the current coalition, in particular in relation to the Big Society discourse. In analysing the policy agenda, we focus on the conceptualisation of state-third sector relations; the types of activities and outcomes associated with the third sector; and the proposed mechanisms for achieving these goals. We not only review significant government policy documents, speeches and programmes, but also policy documents and programmes of key third sector actors, including umbrella groups, think tanks and funders.
Milena, Rebecca & Graham’s presentation is available here (pdf format)