Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°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

The first departure of the Port of Felixstowe's 31st daily rail freight service, to Birch Coppice.

The Port of Felixstowe today saw the launch of its 31st daily rail freight service.

Holiday parks group Park Resorts is to merge with rival operator Parkdean.

The UK’s biggest holiday park operator is to be created through a £960million merger deal involving Parkdean and Park Resorts.

EADT BUSINESS

Chris and Hayley Lee, pictured outside The Bildeston Crown

PICTURE CONTRIBUTED 

EADT 20/9/07
EADT 22/12/07
EADT 25.4.09

A couple who held senior posts at a country hotel-restaurant when it won a clutch of awards has returned.

Maria Peyman of Birketts with colleagues Katherine Shadbolt and Kitty Rosser.

Maria Peyman has joined the commercial litigation team at law firm Birketts as a senior associate.

Halfords has reported a fall in bike sales over the past two months.
Photo: Newscast/Mathew Growcoot

Halfords today reported a slump in bike sales over the last two months amid rainy weather and heavy discounting.

ASOS chief executive Nick Robertson, who is stepping down with immediate effect.

Online fashion retailer ASOS said today that its chief executive Nick Robertson is to step down with immediate effect from the helm of the company he founded 15 years ago.

Aga is at the centre of a takeover tussle after revealing US electronic appliances giant Whirlpool was considering a bid to rival Middleby's £129 million offer.

Upmarket cooker firm Aga Rangemaster is at the centre of a takeover tussle after revealing US electronic appliances giant Whirlpool was considering a bid to rival Middleby’s £129 million offer.

Matt Howard and Stuart Morton of chartered accountants and business advisers Price Bailey.

Twenty-four staff have lost their jobs at a Lowestoft department store which went into administration last month as urgent efforts continue to find a buyer for the business.

A Punch Tavern pub

Pub group Punch Taverns is set to post a slight fall in annual earnings as it continues to offload pubs to cut its debt pile.

BSP International Foundations, part of Tex Holdings plc of Great Blakenham, which has bought the assets and business of G & M Power Plant.

Nineteen out of 35 jobs at an electric generator manufacturer have been saved after its business and assets were bought out of administration on Wednesday.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages