Preston builds social value into new procurement framework

By Tim Aldred

03 Jul 2023

Layla Blackburn On A Work Placement At Preston City Council

Preston City Council is building upon its noted community wealth building efforts with the launch of a new Social Value Procurement Framework.

The new agreement, now approved, will see potential suppliers asked to demonstrate how they will contribute to supporting the local economy and fair employment, addressing the climate emergency, investing in training, and supporting the voluntary and community sector.

The council says that delivery of ‘progressive procurement’ is one of the pillars of its community wealth building and will contribute directly to the development of a 'resilient and inclusive' local economy.

Coun Valerie Wise, cabinet member for community wealth building said: “A Community Benefit Framework is already in place for the council’s £45m Animate entertainment and leisure development and a similar framework has been adopted for the Town’s Fund projects.

"We have agreed that a framework should now be adopted for all council procurement activity and that the weighting of social value in the assessment of tenders should be increased to 20 per cent. This is in line with the council’s commitment to Community Wealth Building, and best practice across the UK.

“A 20 per cent commitment to social value on big ticket contracts will make a big difference to our communities. As a council we are always looking for ways to build a more resilient and fairer economy, and this is a significant step forward to achieving Preston’s priorities.”

The SVPF will be used in any procurement exercise which is expected to exceed the contract value threshold of £74,999. Twenty per cent of the overall assessment score will be allocated to social value. This will be split evenly between an assessment of a supplier’s description of their current commitment to social value; and an assessment of the additional benefits suppliers commit to through the delivery of measures selected from the SVPF.

On award of contract, the supplier will commit to regular reporting on the selected SVPF measures and this will form part of the council’s standard contract monitoring procedure.

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