Cortes-hit social enterprises and charities fear that the government amend the bill could undermine their attempts to obtain more public service contractslocalist
With impeccable logic, the government has taken the ax to the members of the private member's bill to make it easier for the voluntary sector, business personnel and mutual socially exclusive to compete for service contracts.
For many of these organizations, already struggling to survive under the pressure of public spending cuts, changes seem sinister, like other signs ministers are unwilling to support his "Great Society" rhetoric a real strength.Most striking of a series of changes introduced by the minister Nick Hurd civil society means the bill no longer have the words "social enterprise" in its name. Utilities Conservative MP Chris White (Social enterprise and social value) of the bill will now (if you pass the law) public services (social value) Right
Out goes the requirement proposed in the government develop a national strategy for social enterprise, and the proposed duty on local authorities to establish how they will work with local social enterprises. The amendments were discussed at the committee stage tomorrow. The government has a majority on the committee and is expected to go with it.
So what will the impact of these changes? Gareth Thomas, Minister of Labour shadow for civil society, the changes are significant:"After huge cuts in government funding for groups of civil society, now the government wants to ax plans vital legal requirements that could have helped social enterprises to flourish. This forced people working in local government and the government to consider how they could promote the growth of social enterprises and could have been a huge hit in the arm for the sector. However, further evidence that the Great Society is Conservative-speak for 'you're on your own. "
white is not so worried. A spokesman described the changes, which had apparently anticipated such as white:
"There is a significant change"social enterprise in the UK, who helped draft the bill, said he was surprised that the government wants to change the "strategy" aspect of the law. But he added: "The decision to drop" social enterprise "the term could be very bad news for growth in the social enterprise sector in Britain. The coalition government is committed to a more involvement of social enterprises and charities and cooperatives to provide public services. In fact, the hinges of the vision of the Great Society on this issue. We are concerned that this important signal to all corners of Commissioners may remove and replace the spirit and letter of the law. "
probably the most important aspect of the bill has not changed, however: the requirement of public service commissioners to consider the social and environmental value of the time to put the goods and services tender. Social Enterprise in the UK says it is cause for optimism:"This means that even with the changes proposed, the project of social enterprises in a better position to win public sector contracts."
In addition, Hurd admitted that strategies can be useful things instead of having:
"I'm not theological strategies. Having been in business for 18 years before joining the government, I think in general is probably a good thing to have a strategy. However, I think that, particularly in this context, strategies must be governed by the need of the hour, and must be driven by conviction rather than the obligation to comply with a bureaucratic process. "
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