Agenda item

Delivering Social Value in Barking and Dagenham


The Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Core Services introduced a report on a new policy framework, guidance and process to ensure that Social Value proposals and principles formed part of all significant contracts procured by the Council, in line with the Council’s priorities and its obligations under the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.


The Cabinet Member referred to the five main themes that would underpin the Council’s Social Value aims, namely:


·  Investment in local people: tackling unemployment and low pay by promoting payment of the London Living Wage, securing quality employment, work experience and apprenticeship opportunities – with additional consideration for opportunities created for those facing disadvantage in the labour market (including NEETs, care leavers, young offenders and those with learning disabilities or physical and mental health conditions);

·  Investment in the local economy: supporting local job creation by sourcing goods and services from organisations with premises/operations based in the Borough and supporting initiatives to build the capacity of local suppliers;

·  Environmental sustainability: reducing waste and single-use plastics, promoting recycling and sustainable energy, supporting local growing initiatives and other activities to improve the local environment and air quality;

·  Community participation and engagement: procuring from organisations with a social purpose, involving citizens in service design and decisions, and helping to build the capacity of local civil society organisations such as through volunteering, mentoring and provision of facilities;

·  People, resilience and independence: supporting local initiatives to improve health and wellbeing by tackling key local issues such as high levels of obesity, anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.


Potential contractors would be required to present a delivery plan and method statement setting out their commitments and how they would be delivered, including how they would work with local partners and ensure compliance in their wider supply chain where relevant.  The requirements would apply to all contracts over £100,000, with commissioners able to apply it to lower value contracts on a discretionary basis, and a minimum weighting of 10% (up to a maximum of 20% on a discretionary basis) would be applied to the tender evaluation criteria in recognition of the importance of Social Value alongside cost and quality considerations.  With regard to construction contracts, there would be specific benchmarks to reflect good practice in the construction sector and the Unite Construction Charter, which the Council and Be First signed in June 2019, and a wider strategy would be developed to support contractors to deliver a programme of events and encourage local suppliers to access procurement opportunities.  Section 106 Employment, Skills and Supply Chain Agreements would also form part of the conditions applied to planning consents for all major development projects in the Borough


The Cabinet Member confirmed that a new post of Social Value Coordinator had been established to support procurement and commissioning teams to implement and enforce Social Value and to monitor progress across the Council, with the successful candidate expected to be in post in the coming months.


The Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Aspiration reiterated some of the benefits referred to in the key themes and their links to the Borough Manifesto and other Council policies and strategies.  The intention was for the new policy to be launched in Summer 2020 to coincide with an online public consultation and the arrangements would be kept under continual review, particularly in the first year, to ensure the best possible outcomes.


Cabinet Members spoke in overwhelming support of the new approach and thanks were conveyed to all those involved in the development of the proposals.  Particular mention was also made of the role of local partners including schools, colleges and Coventry University London in the development, promotion and delivery of Social Value in the Borough and the recognition that Social Value would be additional to the usual core contractual requirements, with potential contractors expected to embrace the aims and objectives and not merely meet minimum expectations.


Cabinet resolved to:


(i)  Agree the policy and approach to Social Value as set out in the report;


(ii)  Note the proposed monitoring, compliance and implementation process and plans; and


(iii)  Authorise the Director of Inclusive Growth, in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Employment, Skills and Aspiration and Finance, Performance and Core Services, to make any appropriate amendments to the documents and approach arising from best practice initiatives or valid representations from the general public and/or civil society partners.

Supporting documents: