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A new approach to social value launched by Preston City Council

11 July 2023

Preston City Council has approved a Social Value Procurement Framework (SVPF) as a central part of its commitment to increasing the 'social value' or benefit received by local communities through its procurement activity.

Social Value is the wider benefit gained by a local community from the delivery of public contracts or services. When suppliers bid for contracts with the council, 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.

This marks an important step forward in the council's commitment to delivering Community Wealth Building in Preston.

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'.

The new framework will improve the council's existing approach to the consideration of social value in procurement.

Delivery of 'progressive procurement' is one of the pillars of Community Wealth Building and in Preston it will contribute directly to the development of a resilient and inclusive local economy.

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."

"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 per cent 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.

For more information on the Social Value Procurement Framework visit Preston City Council - Social Value in Procurement.

Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community Wealth Building wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone.