COMMONS

Co-operative council inquiry: terms of reference

20 March 2012

The Committee invites submissions from interested parties on the setting-up and operation of not-for-profit businesses owned and controlled, in full or part, by the people who work for them to provide local services that local authorities traditionally provide.

To assist those submitting memoranda the Committee suggests that material may cover the following areas:

  • What is the difference between a co-operative council where services are supplied via not-for-profit businesses and other local authorities?
  • What arrangements need to be put in place to deliver services by not-for-profit businesses such as employee-owned mutuals? More specifically, what are the barriers to establishing not-for-profit businesses to supply services; what role does the local authority have in promoting and incubating a not-for-profit business; and where does accountability lie?
  • What are the advantages of and drawbacks to providing services via not-for-profit businesses?
  • Where services are delivered by a not-for-profit businesses what difference will the local resident and local taxpayer see?

Memoranda addressing any or all of these issues, in accordance with the guidelines set out below, are invited by midday on Friday, 11 May 2012.

Each submission should:

  1. be no more than 4,000 words in length;
  2. begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
  3. be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible; and
  4. be accompanied by a covering email containing the name and contact details of the individual or organisation submitting evidence.

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to  [email protected] and marked "co-operative councils".

It is helpful, for Data Protection purposes, for contact details not to be included in the text of submissions, but sent separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website.

Please also note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work may be included.
  • Memoranda submitted should be kept confidential until formally accepted by the Committee. The Committee has authorised the publication by witnesses of their evidence, but such publication should await the formal acknowledgement of acceptance of the submission as evidence to the Committee.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

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