Council should listen to Social Enterprise Report

Earlier this month the Kings Fund published a report (available here) on Social Enterprises in the state-funded health and Social Care sector. The Labour Group Leader, Councillor Jim Grant, believes the recommendations from the report need to be taken seriously by Swindon borough Council.

The report published by the Kings Fund on Social Enterprises in the state-funded health and social care sector could not be timelier for Swindon borough Council. With Swindon’s adult social care social enterprise set to be fully functional by October this year this report gives the Council an opportunity to reflect on whether its social enterprise is as good as it can be.

This report was based on conversations the Kings Fund took with leaders of health and social care social enterprises across England and its three main recommendations are:

  • Calls for longer-term contracts public contracts for Social Enterprises in order to provide effective and sustainable business models for social enterprises
  • Ensuring that the leaders of the social enterprise have the necessary business competencies to manage the risks
  • And ensuring that external stakeholders are engaged in the decision-making of the organisation, as well as staff

Reading through the report, I see much that Swindon borough Council’s Social Enterprise can learn from it, especially the report’s main recommendations. Now is the time to review whether the Social Enterprise meets all the recommendations of the report. Failure to do this before the Social Enterprise becomes fully operational would be a disservice to the organisation’s staff and service users.

Ensuring that staff are not engaged in the decision-making of the organisation at the expense of the service users On another issue I read with great interest the Federation of Small businesses’ assessment that Swindon is failing to retain its top young talent within the town. The FSb have said something that I think we all knew however has never really hit home.

The solutions for the Council to retain our top young talent are not simple and cannot be solved in the short-term. However if the Council fails to address this then it could have significant implications to Swindon’s long-term sustainability and I welcome the debate the Swindon FSb have started.

Councillor Jim Grant

Swindon Labour Group Leader