This afternoon the Prime Minister hosted social enterprise CEOs and leaders from a range of sectors including education, health, transport and housing for a roundtable in Downing Street.
The Prime Minister began the meeting by thanking Lord John Bird for suggesting the roundtable. She then set out her vision for a society that focuses on the responsibilities we have to one another and where all sectors, not just the state, play their part in tackling the challenges facing the country, whether in housing, education, markets or the workplace. The Prime Minister then highlighted the work of over 70,000 social enterprises doing good across the country and asked guests for thoughts on how to build on that success.
Culture Minister Tracey Crouch then spoke about the upcoming 10-year Civil Society Strategy, and highlighted the crucial role of social enterprises in delivering the Prime Minister’s vision for a more inclusive economy.
The guests discussed procurement, and how the government can protect and expand the role social enterprises can and should play in the public service economy. There was agreement that the Social Value Act has done much to support the growth of social enterprises, but that it was necessary to take steps to strengthen it and to make sure that the public sector maximises its potential.
Guests welcomed today’s announcement of increased funding for the NHS, and the Prime Minister underlined the importance for the social enterprise sector of working with NHS leaders to develop more integrated care strategies as part of the ten-year plan for the NHS.
Guests then discussed community housing, with the Prime Minister highlighting her particular focus on tackling homelessness and rough-sleeping. Guests underlined the particular value that local expertise can add in terms of delivering outcomes for communities. On this point, the Prime Minister added that her conversations with the Grenfell community following last year’s tragedy had brought home to her the importance of listening to tenants and ensuring that their views are taken into account.
The Prime Minister concluded the meeting by thanking guests for their insights, and there was agreement that the government would continue to support and engage social enterprises to deliver an economy that works for everyone.