To receive a presentation on Social Value in Procurement from Councillor Danny Myers, Assistant City Mayor, Entrepreneurial Councils and Neil Bayliss, Head of Procurement, Leicester City Council. (APPENDIX C1 – PAGE 71)
A copy of the Council’s Social Value Charter (APPENDIX C2 – PAGE 79) and Delivering Social Value for Leicester (a guide for suppliers and contractors) (APPENDIX C3 – PAGE 85) are also provided for Members information.
The Board received a presentation on Social Value in Procurement from Councillor Danny Myers, Assistant City Mayor, Entrepreneurial Councils, together with a copy of the Council’s Social Value Charter and Delivering Social Value for Leicester (a guide for suppliers and contractors).
During the presentation it was noted that:-
· That the Council buys £360m of services from 5,800 businesses. Over half what is bought is from suppliers in the city and county and two thirds of expenditure was spent in the city and county areas.
· The challenge was to get more out of this spending power activity and use social value to work together with partners so that every public pound spent in the city benefits the city and gets all public voluntary and business sectors in the city working together to tackle the city’s problems.
· The aim of the initiative was to change a commercial activity to a commercial activity that has a civic element. Social value within procurement aimed to provide additional benefits generated by a service beyond its primary purpose.
· The aim was for social gain to be added to contracts. This was principle similar to when there is a large development, developers often contribute with a quota of affordable social housing or provide new roads and highways improvements or playgrounds and in some large schemes developers make a contribution to a new school.
· Legislation in 2012 enabled the Council to pursue approach with services and since then apprenticeships have been secured, more services have been procured more locally and this principle has been broadly applied across the supply chains.
· Although the legislation was laudable and had decent intent, it sadly coincided with austerity and public-sector budget cuts and reductions.
· The principles of the social value charter had been translated into a guide that set out the Council’s priorities and ambitions and was aimed at those providing goods and services purchased by the Council and encouraged a change in relationships so suppliers appreciated there was a civic and social element to transactions.
· The guide set out that the Council expected certain standards including applying the living wage, universally if possible, and that there were ethical environmental supply chains with none involving human slavery.
· The guide encouraged an imaginative approach so that suppliers of services could offer social value which may not necessarily be immediately linked to the service being purchased. Eg companies already had staff volunteering programmes and bulk buying arrangement that could benefit charities etc in the city. They had back office systems which could provide work experience opportunities in finance and IT for young people to improve their skills. Suppliers may also have mass transport arrangements for their workers which could be of benefit to others or they may have meeting space that could be offered to voluntary organisations to use.
· It was recognised that some supply chains were not suited to this process as services purchased from overseas such as It etc did not allow much opportunity to interact with local economy. However, there were 1,000s of business in city that would welcome this approach.
· The Council was also working with the Police to develop the initiative. as well.
· Discussions had also started with others to share learning and expertise and forge links with partners on the board to maximise the public-sector investment in the City.
· The guide would be regularly updated and issued with every invitation to tender for services.
The Police and Crime Commissioner welcomed the joint discussions with the Police and echoed the principles supporting social value which he felt should be adopted by all public bodies. He also referred to the Leicestershire Cares Wire project which provided encouragement to the business community to employ ex-offenders. This provided had a community value that benefited all partners.
That the presentation be noted and that the guide be commended to all other public-sector partners in Leicestershire and Leicester sand they that be encouraged to secure social value from their procurements.