Service Transformation

07.08.17

Delivering social value in public sector procurement

Theresa Grant, CEO of Trafford Council, explains how local authorities in the Greater Manchester area are making every penny of public spend provide that little bit more value for money.

Theresa-headshot-300x271Prisoners in Forest Bank Prison in Salford are being given the opportunity to gain an NVQ qualification thanks to a local government contract.’  It’s not as black and white as it sounds. The local authority is in fact not funding the NVQ or offering any direct support. This opportunity has been made possible through social value.

So why is it the public sector is placing so much ‘value’ on it as part of its tender process?

In Greater Manchester, we have a GVA of almost £60bn and a public spend of close to £8bn. This puts us in a position to make a huge difference by maximising spending power and ensuring our residents and businesses benefit from the spend available.

Our commitment to this approach was strengthened further in 2014, when the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) agreed a social value policy which provides a consistent approach across each Manchester authority to deliver social value through procurement – making every pound go further is a priority. After all it is public money and we need to make every penny provide that little bit more value for money. 

Behind the opening statement to this article is a very pure example of how we are making that pound go further. Previously, local authorities, and many similar businesses, have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds dismantling and recycling redundant computer software and devices. It comes with the territory of good data protection management and of working in a fast-paced technological society.

On the back of a Greater Manchester contract to buy new software and technology, the company responded to the social value task head-on and the benefits of the contract have not just saved money, they’ve made real differences to people’s lives. The company works with Antz network (a GM Charity) to establish a partnership with Forest Bank Category B prison in Salford under which IT assets that cannot be reused are processed by inmates.

Whereas this type of equipment was previously transported to recycling partners who crushed, shredded and smelted waste metals and plastics, the breakdown and separation of boards, precious metals and plastics is now undertaken by prisoners. The result is reduced environmental impact plus a significant benefit to inmates who gain training, qualifications and work experience.

Prisoners have the opportunity to gain an NVQ qualification in recycling, enabling them to be “work ready” for potential employers when released.

The contract provides a value-for-money service (cost reductions of up to £100,000 per annum per authority) that is compliant with all legislative requirements and exceeds environmental requirements as it guarantees that zero waste goes to landfill.  Wider benefits include a reduced demand on public sector support and the benefits system, future reduction in demand for treatment of mental and physical health conditions associated with long-term unemployment, and reduced re-offending rates. Research shows that offending behaviour programmes can reduce reconviction rates by up to 14%.

Need I say more about the benefits of social value and why we are placing such huge emphasis on its importance as part of our procurement exercises.

Working with local charities and the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector is something we actively encourage as demonstrated in the example above. The VCSE sector is significant in Greater Manchester and generates ‘added value’ through their normal activities thereby generating outcomes without public funding investment but through volunteering, charitable giving, informal trading and community action. Greater Manchester’s social value approach requires suppliers to identify opportunities to support this work by providing the means for employees to engage in voluntary work or by through direct support, such as making space available for VCSEs to use, mentoring or giving resources to support programmes that are in place.

The Greater Manchester strategy has recently been reviewed and updated, and the GM Social Value Policy will reflect the changes. Our policy needs to evolve and change to learn from what we have experienced so far and to ensure we are adapting to ever-changing markets and the partners we need to work with to achieve our aims and objectives for the growth and benefit of Greater Manchester.

The longer-term impacts of this approach will be to reduce dependency and demand on public services across the sub-region, which will contribute towards increased economic growth in Greater Manchester.

Greater Manchester is taking the challenge of ensuring its spend goes far, goes deep and adds more to the lives of its residents through social value.

Theresa Grant will be speaking at this year’s National Social Value Conference, which takes place in Birmingham on 14 November. To find out more about the event, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Government under pressure as NAO finds universal credit not delivering value for money

15/06/2018Government under pressure as NAO finds universal credit not delivering value for money

Universal Credit (UC) has not delivered value for money and-- it is uncertain that it ever will, according to research published by the National ... more >
Bolton council buys shopping centre as part of £1bn town centre masterplan

15/06/2018Bolton council buys shopping centre as part of £1bn town centre masterplan

Bolton Council has purchased Crompton Place shopping centre in a £14.8m deal. The move has been funded by the council’s £100m ... more >
On a cliff edge: The Barnett Formula

14/06/2018On a cliff edge: The Barnett Formula

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, gives his analysis of the Barnett Formula post-Brexit and asks: how will ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
View all News

the raven's daily blog

The work of the vanguards can help overcome the challenges of integrated care

29/05/2018The work of the vanguards can help overcome the challenges of integrated care

Following the announcement of the second wave of integrated care systems (ICSs), NHS Providers, the NHS Confederation, NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) and the LGA reflect on how lessons learnt by members from across the four organisations – that have designed and worked together as part of the vanguards – will support the j... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

On a cliff edge: The Barnett Formula

14/06/2018On a cliff edge: The Barnett Formula

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, gives his analysis of the Barnett Formula post-Brexit and asks: how will ... more >
The digital journey so far

08/05/2018The digital journey so far

Michael Sage, digital services group manager at Chelmsford City Council, outlines the authority’s journey towards becoming digitally indepe... more >
Equipping the cyber security gatekeepers

08/05/2018Equipping the cyber security gatekeepers

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just around the corner, cyber security is on the lips of the whole public sector – but P... more >
The hydrogen revolution

08/05/2018The hydrogen revolution

PSE’s Josh Mines takes a look at an innovative scheme in Sheffield that will see some of the first hydrogen-fuelled vans begin work in the ... more >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

  • 12/06/2018G-Cloud 10: small changes, big opportunities

    Rafael Cortes, Foehn head of marketing, explains how G-Cloud 10 should be a catalyst for innovative solutions and not a source of complacency. It was...
  • 04/06/2018Targets and tribulations

    David Willett, corporate director at The Open University, walks us through the university’s research into the apprenticeship levy, as well as...
  • 30/04/2018The legacy of Grenfell

    PSE’s Seamus McDonnell looks at the reactions of councils and the government to the Grenfell Tower fire, from the immediate aftermath to the...
View all News