Every pound spent by the Council, should be reinvested back into the community.
That is the principle of a new Social Value policy that dictates how and where the Council spends its money on products and services
Social value is the term that is used for quantifying the additional benefits that the community will get from the monies that the council spends.
As a large organisation with a plethora of responsibility and duties, the Council needs to buy a range of things in order to carry out its duties.
The Council spends over £200 million each year on products and services, making it a very good client for thousands of businesses, all of whom are keen to bid for the custom.
The point of the Social Value Policy is to ensure that when this money is spent, it is spent locally with responsible companies and suppliers who are doing the right thing.
While quality of services and price will continue to be the most important factor in choosing a provider, the Council will now consider if the company involved pay their staff the Living Wage Foundation hourly rate, employs a specified number of apprentices or takes certain actions to minimise environmental damage.
The criteria also considers jobs and training, enabling growth of local SMEs, contributing to a healthier community both mentally and physically and contributing to a healthy environment.
The policy will also provide a clear link to the Plymouth Plan, with social value placed on how bidders can help the Council to deliver the social, economic and environmental outcomes set out in the Plan.
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development, presented the policy to his colleagues on Tuesday.
He said: “I’m really pleased to have finalised this policy and to have social value officially stamped into the culture of the Council.
“Times are tight, we all know that. We don’t have the money that we used to have which means we have to make every pound work.”Let’s say we want to employee a plastered for The Box. If we make sure the company we use employ care leavers and engage with local schools, then we know that some of the money we have spent has been reinvested back into our community.
“It’s a small part of a much bigger picture of making sure that we make dwindling Council resources go as far as they possibly can.”