Cheshire East Council is to launch its new ‘social value’ policy, which will apply to the commissioning of goods and services as well as the council’s own ambition to achieve fairness across the borough.
The policy means that all suppliers and providers of council services are expected to meet the core values set out by the council – ranging from climate change to health inequalities.
Social value is recognised both nationally and locally as a beneficial tool for driving innovation, tackling health inequalities and securing improvements in social, economic and environmental outcomes for communities.
Council leader, Councillor Sam Corcoran, said: “Through social value we aim to support sustainable and inclusive economic development in our borough.
“This is a call to action to support local economic recovery following the impact of Covid-19 and, through having a social value policy within the council’s supply chain, we want to build links between the public, business, voluntary, faith and social enterprise sectors in Cheshire East.
“We want to tackle health inequalities, improve mental wellbeing and address other social inequalities, which can be done through good quality employment opportunities, community development, housing, transport and environmental planning.
“Our social value policy has been developed jointly with the NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and supports our ambitions for integrated commissioning across the council and the CCG. There are joined-up priorities and objectives such as economic recovery, climate change and carbon neutral ambitions.”
Council deputy leader, Councillor Craig Browne, said: “Our social value policy supports our ambitions for integrated commissioning across the council and the CCG. There are joined up priorities and objectives such as economic recovery, climate change and carbon neutral ambitions.”
The council’s cabinet has now approved the policy and all future procurement of goods and suppliers would be expected to play their part by employing local people, building local skills and local training opportunities, using local supply chains themselves and/or investing in local projects.
In turn, the council will also ensure its own corporate social responsibility and ethical practices are up to date and meet expectations in terms of employment, the environment and other obligations within a social values charter and framework. In addition to the council’s carbon-neutral commitment and reduced use of plastics, its 3,500 employees get two-days paid leave to carry out volunteering work in the community.
The development and application of a social value policy will contribute significantly to the objectives within the council’s corporate plan, its five-year partnership plan, its joint health and wellbeing strategies and other economic and social recovery ambitions for the whole borough.