Clause 2 - Local authority strategies
Public Services (Social Enterprise and Social Value) Bill
Gareth Thomas (Harrow West, Labour)
Again, it would be helpful if the Minister clarified why such a modest proposal to require local authorities to produce a sustainable community strategy cannot be taken on board by the Government. He has tabled a series of amendments to the requirement on local authorities to put together a sustainable community strategy, but in his response to the debate on clause 1, he did not explain what has changed since he introduced his private Member’s Bill, which, in the words of the hon. Member for Wycombe, established a burden on the Government to produce strategies. Why should things be different for this Bill?
In part, the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington is seeking to address the concern that, although some local authorities have a positive attitude and a real enthusiasm for promoting social enterprises, in practice, without a legislative requirement to consider the implications of supporting social enterprises, other local authorities would not have such an attitude and enthusiasm.
I want to take the opportunity to praise the contribution of a series of Co-op councils and Labour administrations committed to a co-operative and social enterprise vision for seeking to champion and promote social enterprise development in their areas. The requirement proposed by the Bill would help to strengthen the arm of such Labour and Co-op councils and encourage other local authorities to step up their efforts to emulate that work.