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Mon July 15 2024

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Preston launches “social value” framework

3 Jul 23 Preston City Council has approved a social value procurement framework (SVPF) as part of a drive to improve the benefit to the local community through its procurement activities.

Trainee Layla Blackburn on a work placement at Preston City Council
Trainee Layla Blackburn on a work placement at Preston City Council

The Social Value (2012) Act requires social value to be considered in all public sector service procurement exercises over an agreed threshold. Public authorities must have ‘regard to economic, social and environmental well-being’.

When suppliers bid for contracts, they will now be asked to demonstrate how they will contribute to supporting the local economy and fair employment, addressing the ‘climate emergency’, investing in training and supporting the voluntary and community sector.

Councillor Valerie Wise, Cabinet Member for Community Wealth Building said: “A community benefit framework is already in place for the council’s £45m Animate entertainment and leisure development and a similar framework has been adopted for the Town’s Fund projects. We have agreed that a framework should now be adopted for all council procurement activity and that the weighting of social value in the assessment of tenders should be increased to 20%. This is in line with the council’s commitment to Community Wealth Building, and best practice across the UK.”

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“A 20% commitment to social value on big ticket contracts will make a big difference to our communities. As a council we are always looking for ways to build a more resilient and fairer economy, and this is a significant step forward to achieving Preston’s priorities.”

The SVPF will be used in any procurement exercise which is expected to exceed the contract value threshold of £74,999. Twenty percent of the overall assessment score will be allocated to social value. This will be split evenly between an assessment of a supplier’s description of their current commitment to social value; and an assessment of the additional benefits suppliers commit to through the delivery of measures selected from the SVPF. These measures are grouped under five themes:

  1. Supporting the local economy
  2. Addressing the climate emergency
  3. Promoting fair employment
  4. Investing in the future workforce
  5. Strengthening the voluntary and community sector

On award of contract, the supplier will commit to regular reporting on the selected SVPF measures and this will form part of the council’s standard contract monitoring procedure.

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