Every penny matters when it comes to making Bury a great place to live, work and study. Committed to providing the best possible service, opportunities and environment for every single person living in Bury, the council is changing the way it contracts with organisations it works with.
By signing up to a Social Value Policy, Bury Council is transforming the way it works with organisations, making sure that every single contract it commissions carries additional social, environmental and economic value.
This could be in the form of offering a room free of charge to a community group, reducing carbon omissions, supporting vulnerable individuals, sponsoring sports activities or helping to make the area that people live more attractive, to give just a few examples. These improvements will be offered at no extra cost to the council, but instead through contractors going the ‘extra mile’ with Bury Council and, in practical ways, backing their vision to support their local community.
Councillor Rishi Shori, leader of Bury Council and who is leading the social value policy for the council, said: “Social value is a new way of thinking about how resources should be allocated and, although value for money and quality are the principal factors, it is the potential benefit to the local community which is the real value. When procuring goods, works and services, the council will now be asking bidders to explain how they will deliver additional social value through their contract. In a nutshell, the needs of our local communities will be considered with every pound spent.”
By launching this policy Bury Council is ensuring that the community is truly at the heart of every decision made and that practical changes will be made within the community that residents will experience, such as the free hire of rooms to community groups or job creation for people who otherwise find it tricky to find work, such as ex-armed forces, parents with young children, older people or ex-offenders to name just a few of the groups who will benefit from Bury Council’s Social Value Policy.
Primarily, the council has signed up to the Social Value Policy 2017-2020 because it is the right way to support the local community. However, there is also a legal duty to ensure that social value is considered when public bodies purchase services or support.
When inviting companies to bid for contracts with the council, bidders will be asked to identify within their contracts what additional value they will be offering. Bury Council will then monitor this to ensure that the community is benefitting as it was agreed they would be. Along the way, the council will support partners, clearly defining the process by which bids will be assessed against the social value framework and supporting bidders to identify community and environmental benefits that can realistically be achieved.
Cllr Rishi Shori added: “Social value is the right thing to do for Bury residents and will benefit the whole community. It is central to the purpose of local government but, as the funding and demand environment changes, local authorities must look for ways to make their public pound go further. Bury Council is committed to spending more smartly and developing deeper relationships with their suppliers. That way, we can reward the businesses and third sector providers who are prepared to do more for the communities they serve. Many people aren’t aware of the ways Bury Council is serving its communities – that we are far more than bin collections – and this new policy is all about putting our communities first to secure a better future for Bury residents and improve health, wellbeing and standard of living.”
Press release issued: 31 October 2017.