Latest Public Sector News

07.03.13

Liverpool launches taskforce to ensure social value

A Social Value Taskforce has been launched in Liverpool to help commissioners to use the Social Value Act when procuring services and awarding contracts.

At the Social Value Conference, held in Liverpool yesterday, minister for civil society Nick Hurd said that charities and social enterprises will help deliver better public services.

Hurd, said: “As taxpayers, we should all want those buying services on our behalf to get the best possible value. The Social Value Act is an important step in encouraging everyone involved with public sector commissioning to think harder about how they maximise the value to communities. 

“We firmly believe that making it easier for charities and social enterprises to be involved in the public sector will help us deliver better public services.”

Hosted by Social Enterprise UK, the conference also saw the launch of the ‘We create social value’ campaign, which offers charities and social enterprises guidance and materials to help commissioners to implement change in line with the new legislation.

The new law came into force in January and requires public bodies to consider social value in contracts. Liverpool has additionally committed to procuring services from organisations with a smaller gap between the highest and lowest paid staff.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool and a sponsor of the event, said: “It’s vital that commissioners and councils make the most of the new Social Value Act to ensure that public sector spending really benefits communities. We spend substantial amounts of money which has the potential to really boost the local economy.

“It is about saying to firms that, in return for being awarded major contracts, we want them to demonstrate their commitment to developing jobs and skills. In tough economic times it is vital that we drive as much of our spending back into the local economy as possible.”

Peter Holbrook, Social Enterprise UK CEO, said: “Spending from the public purse should be working hard for people and communities, not for private profiteers.

“The Social Value Act gives commissioners, for the very first time, the green light to choose providers that are committed to delivering community prosperity and wealth, like social enterprises and charities. It has the power to bring about a cultural shift in commissioning practices by local authorities and other pubic bodies.”

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