Giving back through Social Value
Dudley Council is set to introduce a Social Value policy which will look at the added value businesses can offer communities when it commissions goods and services.
Currently the council spends around £300m a year on goods, services and works. While quality and value for money have always been top of the agenda, the council is reinforcing the Social Value element to contracts which will look at what the business can additionally offer Dudley communities, as part of its rationale when awarding contacts. This could be anything from offering mentoring and apprenticeships, to providing teams of volunteers for one off events, to supporting community projects to improving green spaces and reducing carbon emissions, energy usage and waste.
This collaborative approach will benefit the council when tendering competitive contracts, local businesses who set to benefit from receiving the work, small businesses who may be able to offer a Social Value against a smaller contract and local people who will directly and indirectly benefit from the work delivered.
Dudley will be evaluating potential contracts against the social, economic and environmental impact they may have, specifically focussing on supporting stronger safer communities, creating a greener and cleaner space and growing the economy and creating jobs.
Contracts will be assessed on a sliding scale depending on the type of service and value of the contract with bigger contracts expected to deliver more in terms of social value. Social Value can account for up to 20% of the criteria to award the contract, so it’s in the interests of local businesses to offer more back to their community.
The focus is also very much on keeping trade local and doing business with local companies as much as possible. Local business (within the boundary of 4 Black Country councils) will be classed as local level one and the wider West Midlands region as local level two. It forms part of the Dudley Deal, an informal agreement between the council, local people and businesses focussing on benefits to communities, the economy and the environment.
Councillor Shaun Keasey, cabinet member for Digital, Customer and Commercial Services, said:
We’ve always focussed on quality of service and value for money for our residents, and while we’ve always tried to keep the Dudley pound in Dudley when commissioning our contracts, this goes one step further and asks businesses what they can do to add value to the work they deliver.
We know lots of businesses are keen to give back to their community, our new Social Value policy positively incentivises that. Not only will we prioritise local businesses, helping to invest in our economy but also focus on those businesses who can give the most back, whatever their size.
Find out more about the policy by searching for social value on the council website.
Notes to editors:
Definition of Social Value: The additional benefits and outcomes to the community from commissioning and procurement processes over and above the delivery of goods, services and works
Dudley Council spends approximately £300m each year on goods, services and works. If targeted, this spending has the capacity to provide substantial Social Value benefits. These benefits will improve the quality of life and life chances of Dudley residents, enhancing the economy and environment of the local area.
The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 states:
“for procuring the provision of services, … goods or the carrying out of works…the authority must consider how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area and, in conducting the process of procurement, how it might act with a view to securing that improvement.”