Celebration in the SEC offices this afternoon! We have just heard that the ‘Public Services (Social Enterprise and Social Value)’ bill secured enough votes in the House of Commons today to pass through to committee stage – an outstanding achievement.
The private members bill was tabled by Chris White MP (Conservative member for Leamington Spa), as a direct result of input from SEC members and supporters into SEC’s manifesto: as such this is ‘our’ bill. True to our principles and values it has been co-produced and co-designed by our movement.
And it is down to everybody’s hard work that both the government and the opposition have supported this bill. We know that MPs from across the UK have reported large volumes of correspondence from constituents and that has led to increased awareness and support for the bill. We know that MPs have become more confident in supporting the bill because of the number of organisations that have supported it directly.
I am also hugely proud of how the wider social enterprise movement and our friends in the community, voluntary and charity sectors have rallied together to support this piece of proposed legislation, and particular thanks to those who helped Chris White in the working up of his bill.
I send my sincere gratitude to you all for the work you undertake on a daily basis; this has led to our efforts being recognised at such a strategic level. Whether the bill succeeds or not, I‘m sure that we will begin to see a cultural shift in commissioning and procurement which has so often been an impenetrable barrier to thousands of smaller social enterprises.
The bill attempts to put a duty on commissioners and procurement officers across public services to take into account added social, environmental and economic value when assessing tenders to deliver goods and services. If successful it could become one of the most important pieces of legislation for social enterprise in a generation.
I also want to say congratulations and thank you to all of you who took part in the Social Enterprise Day campaign yesterday. I think we enjoyed the most effective and impactful Social Enterprise Day yet.
We had wide media coverage including in the Sun and the Daily Mail and the Social Enterprise Coalition was quoted in the lead article of yesterday’s Guardian newspaper. We had 10 ministers visiting social enterprises yesterday from right across Government. Thank you again to all those who opened their doors. Hundreds of social enterprises welcomed commissioners, councillors and private sector business leaders. We’re hearing great feedback from both sides, and we know that opportunities have already come out of the visits for some social enterprises.
And the team at SEC