A few weeks ago, Nick Hurd, the new minister for civil society, toured Paddington Development Trust, a charity that provides community services.
Afterwards he declared himself well satisfied. The trust, he said, was an “emblem of the big society in action”.
Barely a fortnight later Hurd’s colleagues in the Communities and Local Government department stepped in and made a decision which will take hundreds of thousands out of the trust’s £3.4m budget this year and much more in years to come. The trust fears it could eventually lose three quarters of its funding.