Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE) names new chairman

John Chillcott.

John Chillcott. - Credit: Archant

A new chairman has been named of Social Enterprise East of England (SEEE).

John Chillcott, who was chief executive of Anglia Co-operative for six years, succeeds Ben Higham, who had been chairman since 2006.

The organisation supports businesses which support the environment, tackle social problems, improve communities or plough their profits back into the business or the community.

Mr Chillcott said: “After 17 years with Anglia Co-operative, the last six as chief executive, I am stepping down following the merger that created the Central England Co-operative - but I still have my passion for the mutual approach to business and, as a result, I’m delighted to have been appointed chair of SEEE.”

The SEEE has launched its Social Enterprise Capacity Builder – an initiative to help social enterprises deliver services currently provided by local authorities.


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In his new role, Mr Chilcott will push forward the Social Enterprise Capacity Builder to local authorities – with SEEE already using it successfully with Central Bedfordshire Council.

Mr Chillcott said: “We recognise that local authorities have to face the challenges of budgetary constraints, the requirements of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, the promotion of the local economy and engagement with local communities, both as consumers of services and as voters.

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“And whilst social enterprises can offer a unique way to meet these challenges when compared to large private limited company service providers, they do often face difficulties persuading commissioners that they can offer sufficient scale, adequate finance, appropriate skills and relevant experience.”

Mr Higham said: “I’m very pleased that John has agreed to take on the chair of SEEE and, with his background in the Co-operative movement, I am confident the organisation is in good hands.”

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