The Public Services (Social Values) Act was passed at the end of February 2012 and comes into effect in January 2013. What it means in brief is that public bodies should look at how they award contracts in terms of the collective benefit to communities. So for every £1 spent on a service, how can this same amount also be used for the wider benefit of the community.
For example a contractor engaged to maintain the city’s horticulture might offer training to local people in gardening skills, or team up with a local allotment project that encourages more people to grow their own veg. The social value would be in enhancing wellbeing in communities through exercise, interaction with other people, healthy eating and developing skills that could be used to gain employment.
The Social Inclusion Process Green Paper:
Commitment 3.2 Use innovative and social solutions to support vulnerable people, recommends that we should encourage social prescribing like befriending schemes, peer solutions and user groups rather than medical intervention to tackle things like loneliness and exclusion.
Commitment 7.3 recommends that we should commission services that reduce isolation and loneliness in older people such as befriending, recreational activities and intergenerational schemes.
I think that there is the potential to extend commissioning and procuring for social value, to tackle these and other issues that are highlighted in the Social Inclusion Process Green Paper.
What are you views?
What does social value mean to you?
Do you already include questions on the wider impacts of contracts in our procedures?
Are you already measuring the social value that your organisation creates?
Let us know through the following media before the closing date of
Monday 5th November 2012.
The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham email@example.com
Via Twitter @fairbrum or use #fairbrum
Telephone the Partnership Team on 0121 675 3499
For a really useful guide to the Social Values Act by Anthony Collins LLP see: