Social Enterprise and Social Value BIll

Crucial Parliamentary vote on Social Enterprise: help needed from everyone

On Friday the 19th of November, the Public Services (Social Enterprise and Social Value) Bill faces a vote in the House of Commons. Merseyside Disability Federation is backing a call to write to our MPs, as individuals and organisations, to ask them to back the bill.

According to : ‘the bill will require the Secretary of State and local authorities to publish strategies in connection with promoting social enterprise and social value.   If passed, the bill will enable communities to participate in the formulation and implementation of those strategies and it will require that public sector contracts include provisions relating to social outcomes and social value.’

This would be useful for organisations from the Voluntary and Community Sector, as we are particularly good at ‘social value’ and demonstrating social outcomes. As the concept of ‘social value’ came out of work done by NHS NW this has particular relevance to groups from our locality. Helping this bill pass will create a level playing field for voluntary and community organisations that want to compete for local authority contracts.

There is a catch. This is only a Private Member’s Bill. This means that it is the idea of an individual MP (Chris White, Member of Parliament for Warwick and Leamington) and wasn’t the idea of Government. Private Member’s Bills rarely become law. This is because without Government support it needs a substantial number of ordinary MPs to think the Bill is a good idea in order for it to move forward. Even to get a ‘second reading’ we are going to have to get 100 MPs on side by the 19th of November.

Voluntary Sector North West are very much supporting this Bill, and so have created a number of resources (an in depth briefing and a sample letter to an MP). MDF would like to encourage people to get involved with VSNW’s campaign. Please write to your MP and ask them to support the Voluntary and Community Sector by backing this Bill.

UPDATE - Thanks to everyone who wrote to their MPs. After campaigning by the Voluntary and Community Sector, this Bill gathered enough backing from MPs to go to to the Committee stage. This means it is much more likely to become law, especially because the Government are saying they might go on to support the BIll, making it probable it will be passed.