01 December 2010- Chamber of Commerce Breakfast meeting

2 December 2010

In almost knee deep snow and icy conditions, it was ambitious to think many people would be able to make their way to the Sutton Chamber Breakfast event held at the Holiday Inn – Sutton. But there was a nice gathering of businesses ready to share their views on Cameron’s initiative – the Big Society and to explore what it means for Sutton. It was disappointing that Paul Burstow MP of Sutton and Minister of State for Care Services, was not able to join us. However, we made the most of the event and SCOLA and the Chamber agreed to form a small working group between education and business to come up with a framework that will enable us to make better sense of the Government’s Big Society. It became obvious as many attendees expressed they felt there wasn’t enough information from the government on the initiative and lack of confidence that this would do much good. We all felt that we needed a better understanding of how this could be achieved, what it would look like and how Business could benefit from it.
There is clearly a role for Education and Training if the Big Society is to manifest itself in civic action. SCOLA have a big role to play. As Sutton’s community college and a leading provider of Adult Education it is our duty to help educate the community and to take charge and make decisions. From our point of view the Big Society is to empower civic action to take place with the purpose of improving community life. There are caveats in this sentiment. We need to make sure we do not duplicate or lose the quality of the community engagement activities that already exist. For it to work, training will play a huge role, as will clear and regular communication. SCOLA look forward to hosting and leading on this venture.

Saboohi Famili – Principal

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