July 5, 2023

Enhancing Community Well-being: Preston Launches "Social Value" Framework

In a pioneering move towards creating a more inclusive and socially responsible procurement process, Preston City Council has given the green light to a Social Value Procurement Framework (SVPF). With the primary goal of enhancing benefits to the local community, this framework will be an integral part of any procurement exercise expected to exceed the contract value threshold of £74,999. By allocating 20% of the overall assessment score to social value, Preston aims to foster a stronger sense of community well-being and support initiatives that go beyond the traditional bottom line.

Empowering Local Impact

The SVPF represents a powerful tool that empowers Preston's procurement activities to make a tangible difference in the lives of its citizens. Instead of solely focusing on financial considerations, the framework takes a holistic approach, ensuring that suppliers contribute positively to the community they operate in. By creating a structured assessment process, Preston City Council can effectively gauge suppliers' commitment to social value and encourage them to go above and beyond to bring additional benefits to the local area.

Understanding the SVPF Assessment Criteria

The Social Value Procurement Framework has a dual assessment approach. The first component entails evaluating a supplier's current commitment to social value. This examination takes into account their track record and initiatives aimed at enhancing the well-being of the community. Suppliers that have a proven history of social responsibility will earn favorable scores in this phase.

The second aspect involves the assessment of additional benefits suppliers pledge to deliver. Drawing from the SVPF, suppliers can select measures that align with their capabilities and expertise. These measures can range from supporting local charities and community projects to implementing sustainable practices and creating job opportunities for underrepresented groups. By giving suppliers the freedom to choose relevant initiatives, the framework encourages authentic, meaningful contributions that align with their organisational values.

Promoting Ethical Business Practices

The introduction of the SVPF showcases Preston's commitment to promoting ethical business practices and responsible procurement. By incentivising suppliers to actively engage in community-centric initiatives, the council sets a precedent for other regions to follow suit. Not only does this approach bolster the local economy and community, but it also cultivates an environment of collaboration and shared responsibility.

Fostering Sustainable Partnerships

The SVPF acts as a catalyst for fostering stronger partnerships between the public and private sectors. Through social value-driven procurement, suppliers are encouraged to forge meaningful relationships with local organizations, non-profits, and community groups. These collaborations can lead to innovative and sustainable solutions that address societal challenges, making Preston a more vibrant and resilient city.

Preston's launch of the Social Value Procurement Framework marks a significant step towards fostering a more inclusive and community-oriented approach to procurement. By incorporating social value as a crucial criterion in the assessment process, the city aims to create lasting positive impacts on its residents and stakeholders. This forward-thinking initiative sets an inspiring example for other municipalities and organizations, encouraging them to embrace similar frameworks that prioritize community well-being alongside financial considerations.