Public Services Act Won’t Be Extended

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Social Enterprise UK helped lead the creation of the Social Value Act 2012 along with its members and partners. The Act was designed to open up more opportunities for Social Enterprises to win bids for the delivery of public services. Last week it was announced that the Act will not be extended.

Peter Holbrook CBE, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “Not extending the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 really is a missed opportunity. Our research shows that a number of Councils are using the Social Value Act in interesting and creative ways – leading to the delivery of quality public services while saving costs at a time when commissioning and procurement teams are under pressure to serve communities with considerably less money available. Unfortunately many Councils are still not using the Social Value Act – extending and strengthening this piece of legislation is likely to be the only stimulus that some Councils will react to. 

“There are however some positive reforms afoot. We welcome a move towards rehabilitation for those in prison. Social enterprises working with ex-offenders have an enviable record of reducing re-offending rates and should be very well placed to work with reform-minded prison governors.

“Devolving powers over buses to Mayors – and to Councils on a case by case basis – in England is long overdue, giving them the same sort of power to improve local transport that London has had for some time. For social enterprises in this sector, these new flexibilities will be welcome.

“The Finance Bill will introduce new indicators for measuring life chances. Whilst no-one eradicated poverty, family instability, addiction or debt by bringing in a range of indicators, acknowledging and attempting to measure some of what is going on in society should give Government and civil society a better idea of the scale of some of the issues we face, and where to direct resources.”