Following a request for support from a constituent, Karen Bradley investigated the manner in which a local social enterprise Stanley Head Ltd was being treated by Stoke On Trent Council. She followed this up by a question in parliament
Stanley Head outdoor education centre, located in my constituency but owned by Stoke-on-Trent council, faces closure. A number of my constituents would like to take on the centre and run it as a community asset, and they have the support of Staffordshire county council and other interested parties, but so far they have not been successful. Will the Leader of the House find time for a debate about community assets, and about residents taking over their ownership to keep them going for the people who use them?
She received this response from Sir George Young.
It is, indeed, one of the policies of the coalition Government to enable community groups to take over and run public services when they are threatened with closure. I should like to raise my hon. Friend’s case with my Cabinet Office colleagues, who have responsibility for the policy, in order to see whether there is a way through which enables these services to continue, run by the community group that she mentions.
As an immediate result, the Stoke on Trent Council have immediately decided not to shut Stanley Head and to again reengage with Stanley Head Limited, the charity set up to operate the social enterprise.