Responding to the publication of the Government’s Civil Society Strategy Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise UK said:

“This strategy could still be a good springboard for social enterprise. We welcome its ambition and the effort that has been made to get buy-in from across Whitehall. We must turn that ambition into action. We cannot assume government will act on its own. Social enterprises and our supporters must keep up the pressure and hold Government to account if we are to curate a fairer and more inclusive economy.

We are pleased to see a new cross-governmental social enterprise forum announced in the strategy, but this must have teeth. We welcome further progress on the Social Value Act and we look forward to working with the Cabinet Office and DCMS on how to embed social value within central government more effectively. There is a risk that the strategy may simply push the big issues facing society and the sector back into the long grass. We must make sure that this doesn’t become the reality.

This strategy must not be an end point. We hope that it will lead to a new dynamism within government to champion social enterprise and social value.”

Chris White, Author of the Social Value Act and SEUK Board Member, said:

“I am pleased that the Civil Society Strategy has further built on recent announcements about the extension of the Social Value Act.

I believe that the principles behind the Act have the potential to work at every level of government and should cover all public spending big and small, grants and contracts. I see great potential for social value in improving the planning system and ensuring that decisions about the future of public assets take into account not just financial cost but their intrinsic social value. These issues affect every community across the country and social value can help public bodies make better decisions.

I hope that this strategy will start a new chapter in the evolution of the Social Value Act. However, we need better data about its current implementation across the public sector. I look forward to supporting Social Enterprise UK’s State of Social Value survey which is currently being developed. I hope that central government, local government and all public bodies will get behind this work.”   

9 August 2018