The Labour and Co-operative Group on Brighton and Hove Council have secured a commitment from council officers to look again at ways in which the Council can support the Able and Willing service, a social enterprise supporting people with disabilities. Able and Willing finds itself at risk due to the significant cut in the subsidy it receives from the City Council in the budget proposals published by the Green minority administration last week.
Questioning senior officers at the Council’s policy and resources meeting last night, Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the Labour Group, asked them to look at putting more council procurement through Able and Willing in order to support its long term viability. In response, officers pledged to look across the board at what additional business the Council could provide to Able and Willing.
Speaking after the Meeting, Councillor Morgan said:
"As a social enterprise employing people with a variety of disabilities, Able and Willing plays a key role locally in helping disabled people move into full time employment.
The existing subsidy levels provided to the organisation have been put under threat by the £100million cuts the Council faces over the next four years from the Tory-led Government at Westminster . But given how much money the Council spends itself on procurement on services Able and Willing provide such as printing and uniforms, surely couldn't the authority look at sending more business their way and help put Able and Willing on a more sustainable footing for the future?
I'm very pleased that Council Officers have assured me they are now looking at explore expanding their procurement via Able and Willing. I’m also calling on all my colleagues in the Labour Party, not just on the Council but across the City as a whole, to look themselves at using Able and Willing for their printing needs."