Social enterprises are well-placed to help local authorities deliver current priorities for efficiency and value-for-money by:
- Providing better public services
- Contributing to economic development
- Supporting community development and cohesion
- Addressing social exclusion
We've produced a guide for people working in local authorities who are interested in social enterprise – senior managers; directors and heads of service lines; commissioners and heads of procurement or economic development, and regeneration managers.
It explains how social enterprises can help meet many of a local authority’s strategic objectives, and gives practical advice about how teams within local authorities can engage with social enterprises to benefit the communities they serve.
LOCAL AUTHORITIES WORKING WITH SOCIAL ENTERPRISES
West Lindsey District Council and local economic regeneration
West Lindsey District Council was named Social Enterprise Partner of the Year at the Social Enterprise Awards 2011, after being nominated by the social enterprise Hill Holt Wood, with whom they worked in partnership on the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) initiative. The FJF launched in 2010 to provide six month work placements to the long term unemployed, supporting them back into employment.
Hill Holt Wood favours a whole person approach, tailoring its work to suit the needs and abilities of each individual. It has a strong track record delivering successful outcomes and through the FJF partnership, 45% of those involved went on to secure permanent employment. Impressed by the results, the Council now seeks support programmes for the unemployed that use a whole person approach.
Using their expertise in sustainable building, Hill Holt Wood is now helping the Council to renovate old, poor quality housing stock in the South West Ward of Gainsborough. This is an area with high unemployment, low income and lacking in green space. Renovation will significantly improve standards of living for local residents, boost sustainability and act as a source of economic regeneration.
Hackney Council and developing sustainable inclusive communities
Hackney in East London is a social enterprise hub. Home to some of the largest and most successful social enterprises in the UK, the borough is a shining example of what can be achieved when councils engage with social enterprise.
Hackney Council has a strong track record in contracting local social enterprises, and has long been a supporter of the sector. Its relationship with transport provider, HCT Group, dates back 25 years. The Council’s early support of the HCT Group helped it to expand to deliver transport services across London and in other parts of England.
In 2006 Hackney Council went a step further and itself established a social enterprise to manage the borough’s 33,000 plus council homes and tenancies. Hackney Homes works closely with residents and has both tenant and community representatives on its Board. Resources are kept within the community rather than distributed to private shareholders, and tenants are actively encouraged to play a part in the way their housing is managed and developed.