UK civil society minister Rob Wilson reveals all

In a wide-ranging interview for Pioneers Post Quarterly, UK minister for civil society Rob Wilson has given his views on everything from last year’s departmental move to his desire to see public services reformed with the use of social investment.

Despite opposition from some social enterprise leaders about the office of civil society’s move to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, many of whom thought the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy would have been a more appropriate home, Wilson defended the move.

In the interview, which is out now in the latest issue of Pioneers Post Quarterly, the minister said: “The move here is in no way a de-prioritisation of our interest and support for social enterprise”. He went on to explain how the work of social enterprise fitted with the three key issues for DCMS: driving growth, enriching lives and promoting Britain to the world.

During the interview, Wilson also displayed a zeal for social investment: “I keep talking about social investment because I want to change the way we think about commissioning and delivering services in this country.

“The old ways, the old big programmes, haven’t really worked. There are frontline organisations that have real knowledge and experience that we are not using enough,” he said.

Wilson said: “I want to see social enterprises and charities much more ingrained and embedded in the way that government is delivering services at local and national level.”

The minister also discussed how he had asked Theresa May to let him keep his brief after May became prime minister following the Brexit vote.

Given the high level of support from former UK prime ministers, Wilson also responded to the accusation that politics has fallen out of love with social enterprise in the last few years.  A selection of social enterprise leaders were also invited to share their opinion on this subject.

Read the full interview plus much more in the latest issue of Pioneers Post Quarterly.