David Cameron re-stated the aims of his “Big Society” initiative as he challenged businesses to support their communities.
The Prime Minister told senior executives from some of Britain’s biggest firms that the country needed the “commitment, the creativity and innovation of businesses to help tackle the challenges that confront us”.
Mr Cameron’s comments came as he gave the keynote speech at the annual general meeting of the charity Business in the Community (BITC) which has the Prince of Wales as its president.
He also announced two new projects, the first – ‘Every Business Commits’ – is a set of five priorities participating firms would honour, from reducing carbon output and improving their workers’ skills to, what the politician described as the perhaps the most crucial, “supporting” the community.
The politician also said he wanted to see the number of people seconded from business to work for a year in their neighbourhoods to increase to 1,000.
The Big Society initiative has been dogged by the problem of some people not understanding what the concept means and last month even children’s minister Tim Loughton admitted this applied to coalition ministers.
But Mr Cameron emphasised how firms across the country can play an important part in delivering its aims.
The Prime Minister said: “We need the commitment, the creativity and innovation of businesses to help tackle the challenges that confront us.
“Whether it is worklessness or obesity, whether it’s the break-up of families or the breakdown of communities, from environmental damage to economic dislocation.”
He added: “I simply cannot think of an area of public policy where the creative thinking of business wouldn’t help us to deliver a better outcome.”