Community empowerment

I was at a meeting this week – the North East Social Capital Forum, since you ask – where a Civil Servant was holding out great hopes for the forthcoming Community Empowerment.
The following day the Guardian carried an opinion piece suggesting that the Bill was a waste of space.
If we set aside our ingrained cynicism, do we think there is anything within the Government’s power that will positively encourage active engagement with the broad community?
I hear conflicting reports from charities on the ground – some say the age of the volunteer is dead and buried, while others are recruiting, training and engaging as fast as their facilities will allow!