The Council and democracy Social Value

The importance of social value

One of the biggest ways in which the Council uses its influence to drive social value is through procurement (the process by which we award contracts for goods and services). Contracts that support local communities, vulnerable adults, domestic violence victims, rough sleepers and the long-term unemployed are just some of the topics that help win social value contracts with us.

Over the last ten years, we have been a leading organisation with our procurement policy and practice, working with The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) to challenge the standard approach to procurement. For us it is something that everyone can get involved in, regardless of the individual or size of their business. 

Where we can, we cut big contracts into smaller chunks, to give smaller businesses a better chance of being able to take part. In 2018/19, council contracts included over 100,000 hours of voluntary and community work, provided through our suppliers to support Manchester communities. To put this into perspective:

  • We spent £322m with Manchester based suppliers, with an estimated £145m being invested back into the Manchester economy
  • An extra £107m of added value generated through social value 
  • 1,579 jobs and 561 apprenticeships were created by our suppliers alone
  • and it brought 7,730  people - the very hardest-to-reach people - into work. Their lives and their families’ lives are back on track for independence and self-reliance

The Power of procurement II, by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies is a detailed report on our work in this area.
 

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