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Social Enterprise Bill to increase access to contracts

14 December, 2011

Chris White (Warwick and Leamington MP) has championed a Private Member’ Bill that will have a significant impact on the social enterprise sector, and is now being sent to the House of Lords for consideration.

The bill was previously named Public Services (Social Enterprise and Social Value) Bill. The bill aims to strengthen the social enterprise business sector and make the concept of ‘social value’ more relevant and important in the placement and provision of public services.

The bill is now limited to services or goods and work procured in combination with services, but despite these amendments, and the removal of the social enterprise strategy and the duty on Local Authorities to engage with social enterprises, there is nothing to stop Public Sector departments and Local Authorities doing their own strategies voluntarily.

Chris White says, ‘the social value section was the most important section of the bill. It is important that social value is included in as many contracts as possible. my bill is aimed at practically supporting socially responsible business practices. This is a step on a journey and I believe that the sector should be commended for taking a long-term view of the benefits of this bill, and not taking the view of ‘all or nothing’.

‘My bill strengthens the hand of social enterprises bidding, and opens the door to better collaboration between commissioners, communities and social enterprise’.

SEWM are delighted by this news and will be announcing events in early 2012 to support understanding and engagement across Local Authorities and our members.

Further details of the bill are available here.

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