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90% want outsourced public services delivered by social enterprises

9 out of 10 people want outsourced public services delivered by social enterprises and not private companies, according to a YouGov survey.

The pollsters asked 2062 adults about their attitudes towards public service delivery on behalf of E3M, a social enterprise initiative.

84% said they are aware public bodies such as local councils and the NHS sub-contract some services (for example, youth services, sports, leisure and events, rubbish collection, park maintenance and cleaning) to other businesses.

Asked to choose between social enterprises or private enterprises delivering public services, 9 out of 10 people who expressed a preference chose social enterprises.

The research also found social enterprises are trusted to provide local public services by more than twice as many of the public than private enterprises.

Jonathan Bland, managing director of Social Business International which manages the E3M initiative, said: ‘Local authorities need to take this YouGov research seriously.

‘The mood has changed: the public wants a different model of outsourcing that they trust, one which uses profits to benefit society rather than building shareholder value.’

Social enterprise HCT Group delivers transport services throughout the UK, including operating red bus routes in London, the Dial-a-Ride service in Bristol, community car schemes in Yorkshire and other transport contracts won in competitive tenders.

HCT has a turnover of over £60m, employs over 1500 people and operates a fleet of over 730 vehicles. In 2018 it provided over 350,000 passenger trips to disadvantaged people or community group members

Last year, the New Local Government Network (NLGN) said that the high profile collapse of Carillion has ‘dented public confidence in partnership arrangements’ but despite this, government spending on private outsourcing is growing.

However, a survey by the NLGN found 39% of council leaders intended to outsource less over the next two years, compared to 15% who were looking to outsource more.

Photo Credit – HCT Group

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