Release £1bn of unclaimed assets into community, says Social Economy Alliance

These should be used, says the organisation's manifesto, to allow local people to take control of amenities

SEA manifesto
SEA manifesto

More than £1bn of unclaimed assets should be released into local communities, allowing them take control of local amenities, a manifesto from the Social Economy Alliance has suggested.

The alliance, which includes Social Enterprise UK, the Charity Finance Group, Locality and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, has set out six ideas for the next government to implement.

The manifesto says more than £1bn of assets in the form of pubs, shops, parks and cultural and recreational facilities could be taken over by local communities.

Other ideas in the manifesto include realising the potential of business by rewarding good behaviour through tax incentives, tackling tax avoidance, improving tax transparency and introducing socially responsible supply chains.

The alliance, which represents hundreds of social enterprises, charities, cooperatives, trusts, associations and entrepreneurs, also calls on the government to make the most of Brexit through changes to state aid, competition law and procurement law, and says profits from outsourcing should be reinvested into society.

It says tax breaks should be redirected towards entrepreneurs, workers and people investing in good causes, and a future industrial strategy should be more inclusive of community groups, charities and social enterprises.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of SEUK, said: "Social enterprises are thriving, communities are cooperating to take control of local buildings, high streets and services, tens of thousands of people are investing in community energy, and employee ownership is empowering workers.

"This is an opportunity to reshape the boardrooms of Britain. It’s a chance to take back control, and in a way that reduces inequalities, heals divisions and strengthens the country for everyone."

Other members of the Social Economy Alliance are: Cooperative Energy, First Ark, Fusion 21, CAN, the School for Social Entrepreneurs, the Social Investment Business, the Social Investment Forum, UnLtd, the Young Foundation, and Cooperatives UK.

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