1960s–1980s regeneration
in How Blair killed the co-ops
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Top-down local area policies in response to urban deprivation forms a context for the growth of indigenous local organisations in the 1960s to 1980s. Little direct government funding was available to communities, with most support from private foundations and European funds, later using inspiration from American and European community structures. Most community organisations were created through market failure and massive job losses and were very different from their later counterparts which accepted market discipline within a competitive new role from government. The Industrial Common Ownership Movement (ICOM), the 1976 Industrial Common Ownership Act and 1978 Co-operative Development Agency Act provided a platform for growth of more than 2000 common ownership structures, with support from Beechwood College, Leeds. In 1981 Beechwood provided a Social Audit Manual as a more comprehensive social enterprise manifesto than the think tank, Demos, sixteen years later. Gradual marketisation, promoted by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and through the creation of ‘quasi markets’ was followed by a range of Demos think tank proposals. NCVO’s Deakin Commission recommended a contractual relationship between government and the voluntary and community sector, which was also recommended by the 1993 CENTRIS Report. All this formed the basis for New Labour’s further marketisation of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors to engage in competition with the private sector for delivery of public services.

How Blair killed the co-ops

Reclaiming social enterprise from its neoliberal turn

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