References to social enterprise removed from Public Services Bill

Amendments put forward by charities minister Nick Hurd are passed in committee examining bill that contains a 'social clause'

Nick Hurd
Nick Hurd

A private member’s bill that would require all public sector contracts to carry a 'social clause' has passed the committee stage in the House of Commons with amendments from Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society.

The Public Services Bill, a private member’s bill by Chris White, Conservative MP for Warwick & Leamington, would require commissioners of public sector services to consider how they might "promote or improve the economic, social or environmental wellbeing" of their local area through any contract.

Hurd’s amendments removed references to social enterprise and a requirement that public bodies should develop strategies to promote social enterprise.

The bill, which has the support of the main parties in the Commons, passed through yesterday's session in the House of Commons in less than two hours. It will move on to the report stage and from there to its third reading, before being passed to the House of Lords.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, which helped draft the bill, said its passage was a "no-brainer" for MPs.

He said that the bill would help social enterprises and charities, but would also encourage private sector organisations to give more thought to the social value they could create.

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