Queen's Speech: Estimates for the public services

Notes on: "The role of social enterprises, charities and co-operatives in our public services will be enhanced."

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Reasons for the policy

Social enterprise, charities and co-operatives can play a valuable role in the running of public services. They reach and engage communities, understand need and pioneer new approaches, which have a social, environmental and economic impact. There is scope for this role to be increased significantly.

With increased pressure on public services, the need to improve outcomes and to reduce national debt, there is a need for radical reform of public services. Social enterprises, charities and co-operatives are one means by which to address these challenges.

The Cabinet Office will work closely with other government departments to identify where social enterprise, charities and co-operatives can have an enhanced role in public services. The Cabinet Office Minister, Rt. Hon. Francis Maude, working closely with the Minister for Civil Society and HM Treasury Ministers, will oversee this work.  

Where appropriate, public services markets will be opened up to allow social enterprise, charities and co-operatives to bid to run public services.  Barriers to involvement will be identified and measures will be implemented.
In particular, we will give public sector works a new right to form employee-owned co-operatives and bid to take over the services they deliver. This will empower millions of public sector workers to become their own boss and help them to deliver better services.

Work on this will begin immediately, with early measures in place by the autumn.

Published 25 May 2010