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Preston City Council to increase social value to local communities through supplier contracts

Posted on - 2nd July, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston Council, Preston News
Layla Blackburn on a work placement at Preston City Council
Layla Blackburn on a work placement at Preston City Council

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.

The council says the move marks an important step forward in the its 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. When suppliers bid for contracts, they will 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.

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Delivery of ‘progressive procurement’ is one of the pillars of Community Wealth Building.

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 per cent. This is in line with the council’s commitment to Community Wealth Building, and best practice across the UK.

“A 20 per cent 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.”

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The SVPF will be used in any procurement exercise that is expected to exceed the contract value threshold of £74,999. 20 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.

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

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

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