Rain

Rain

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude hails work of employee-owned Leading Lives

15:00 31 March 2014

From left, Minster for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, with Tony Carr, Tracey Markwell, Milly Gaskin of Leading Lives and one of the company

From left, Minster for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, with Tony Carr, Tracey Markwell, Milly Gaskin of Leading Lives and one of the company's clients.

Archant

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has used a visit to Suffolk to highlight the major role that mutual organisations can play in improving productivity in the public sector.

shares

He speaking during a tour of the employee-owned social enterprise Leading Lives in Ipswich, accompanied by local MP Ben Gummer.

Leading Lives, a member of the EADT’s Future50 listing of up-and-coming businesses with high growth potential, supports 1,200 adults with learning disabilities across Suffolk through community hubs, short break respite services, in the home and out and about in the community.

The organisation was formed following Suffolk County Council’s strategic decision to externalise services and it now ranks as the biggest worker-owned co-operative in the UK as well as one of the top six social care co-operatives in the country.

The minister was making the visit to see at first-hand how the organisation has progressed since divesting from Suffolk County Council and to discover more about Leading Lives’ structure as an employee-owned co-operative. Employee ownership is embedded through the governance of the company with front-line staff elected by their peers as employee directors.

He also talked to staff about their experience of transferring from the public into the private mutual sector and met some of Leading Lives’ customers attending the New South West Community Hub, in Ipswich.

Mr Maude said: “Every part of the public sector is having to adapt to tough economic times and look at innovative ways of delivering public services.

“We know that mutuals and joint ventures, SMEs and the voluntary sector offer the chance of driving up productivity everywhere. Social enterprises like Leading Lives have a big role to play in building a more diverse marketplace of suppliers.

“As an employee-owned organisation, it is demonstrating how the flexibility of this model can provide better value for money and better services for customers.”

Leading Lives has received support from the Cabinet Office Social Enterprise Investment Fund and Investment and Contract Readiness Fund programmes since it was established just under two years ago to enable the organisation to make the transformation from former public service to a new mutual business.

Leading Lives’ managing director ,Tony Carr, said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome the Minister, Francis Maude. We understand, that at Leading Lives, we are playing our part locally in the transformation of how public services are delivered across the country.

“It is very encouraging for all our staff to be recognised as a good example of a new public service mutual business.

“Since we divested from Suffolk County Council, we have worked very hard to set up a progressive business model as an employee owned co-operative, putting those who are in closest contact with our customers at the heart of how our business is run, whilst concentrating on providing effective and responsive service to vulnerable adults and their family carers.”

shares

0 comments

Greene King apprentice Tamara-Leigh Kirkham.

Greene King has been named VQ Large Employer of the Year for 2015, in recognition of its support for members of its workforce undertaking vocational qualifications (VQs).

Sizewell A and B

Staff at the redundant Sizewell A nuclear power station will have to wait to find out if their jobs are safe from planned redundancies.

The opening of Precision Marketing's new headquarters in Bury St Edmunds.

An expanding marketing services firm celebrated the official opening of its new head office in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

Abby Curtis who is opening Pump and Grind coffee shop in Great Colman Street with Tom Kerridge

The business team behind a new cafe have said they are disappointed they will not able to serve alcohol when opening for the first time on Saturday.

Arlingtons new art exhibition, Liz and Ken Ambler at the launch

Music, art, wine and a great deal more

Steven and Debbie Morgan pictured when they took over The Royal Oak earlier this year

Firefighters were called to a pub last night following a water leak which caused flooding.

Rachel Pearlman, Zoe Bradbury, Jack Northcott and Jordan Keeble of Ginger Nut Media team  at the OXO Tower in London, after being awarded as the best level of support during Advanced Apprenticeships.

A digital advertising firm is celebrating after scooping an award for its supportive training regime.

Royal Mail has seen a rise in annual profits.

Royal Mail today reported a rise in underlying annual profits as a squeeze on costs helped offset a lower than expected performance from its parcel business.

Bury Council Building Angel Hill.

The new chairman of Bury Town Council has said he intends to make the authority relevant after claiming it has done “almost nothing” for the last few years.

Tesco  Group Chief Executive Dave Lewis

Tesco paid £4.1 million to new boss Dave Lewis in his first six months after he was brought in from consumer goods group Unilever to turn around the embattled supermarket.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages