Posted: Thu 23rd Nov 2023

Social enterprises thrive in Flintshire’s economy

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Nov 23rd, 2023

Flintshire councillors have shown resounding support for local social enterprises, approving a draft response to a critical report by Audit Wales.

Reports the Local Democracy Reporter Service: In a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, November 21, members reviewed and endorsed the draft Social Enterprise Action Plan, a strategic response to the report titled ‘A missed opportunity- Social Enterprises.’

In 2013, Flintshire Council recognised the potential of social enterprises in addressing community needs and diversifying the economy.

However, they acknowledged the limited number of such enterprises in the county. To counter this, a specialist Social Enterprise Development Officer was appointed to aid new and existing enterprises in their establishment and growth.

This initiative has led to the creation of approximately 100 new social enterprises, bolstering Flintshire’s economic and social fabric.

2020 marked a significant milestone for Flintshire as Social Enterprise UK designated it as a registered ‘Social Enterprise Place.’

This recognition underscores the quality and range of social enterprise activities in Flintshire, enhancing its national profile.

However, the Audit Wales report published in December 2022, titled “A missed opportunity – Social Enterprises”, cast a critical eye on the support local authorities in Wales provide to the sector.

During the Cabinet meeting, it was noted that the report’s title did not reflect the situation in Flintshire, highlighting the county’s proactive approach.

In response to the Audit Wales recommendations, Flintshire Council conducted a self-assessment and collaborated with the sector to develop an updated Social Enterprise Action Plan for 2023-2025.

The plan outlines four primary aims: enhancing mutual support among social enterprises, improving the measurement of their impact, raising their profile, and increasing their involvement in delivering public services.

The report added: “The Action Plan includes a range of actions to deliver against these aims.

Progress will be reviewed with the Flintshire Economic Recovery Group and Social Enterprise Stakeholder Group and reported to Cabinet and Scrutiny as part of the regular Council Plan reporting process.”

Cllr David Healey (Labour) for Caergwrle, during the meeting praised social enterprise in Flintshire as being, “run by the people for the people”, and Cllr Paul Johnson (Labour) for Holywell West described the Action plan as “excellent”.

By Emily Ash – Local Democracy Reporter and Deeside.com 

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