The man appointed by the prime minister to kickstart a revolution in citizen activism is to scale back his hours after discovering that working for free three days a week is incompatible with "having a life".
Lord Wei of Shoreditch, who was given a Tory peerage last year and a desk in the Cabinet Office as the "big society tsar", is to reduce his hours on the project from three days a week to two, to allow him to see his family more and to take on other jobs to pay the bills.
A common criticism of the plans, under which the government hopes that communities will take over the running of local services such as schools and charity projects, is that people don't have time to run a public service on top of holding down a job and seeing their families.
Whitehall sources said that when he was invited to take the role he had expected it to be remunerated but was told only the night before that it was a voluntary post and there would be no salary.
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