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Agenda item

Social Value Strategy

Decision:

(a)       That the draft Social Value Strategy be approved;

 

(b)       That the release of reserves funding to deliver the Social Value Strategy including the recruitment of a lead officer be approved; and

 

(c)        That the risks of legal challenge and securing value for money when considering the balance of quality and cost in the tender evaluations be added to the risk register.

Minutes:

The Enterprise and Regeneration Manager introduced the report to set out the future approach to generating increased social value from Council expenditure.    He explained that Social Value looked beyond the financial cost of a service and considered what wider additional benefits could be generated to the community.  Implementing the Social Value Strategy would be a key element in delivering the Well-being of the Future Generations Act and enable the Council and partners to create new resources for priority work streams.

 

The Enterprise and Regeneration Manager reported on the main considerations, as detailed in the report, and referred to the long-term goals in implementing the Strategy.  He continued that the Strategy sets out priority areas for social value generation, based on those highlighted in the Flintshire Well-being Plan and the Council Plan, helping to create additional resources for critical work streams.  He advised that a review had been undertaken to understand the baseline position in delivering social value through procurement which was an important catalyst for wider development.  Current practice was well developed where procurement frameworks were being used especially within construction.  The Strategy did not propose any new mandatory thresholds in the procurement process below the £1m threshold already in the Contract Procedure Rules but challenges service managers and procurement officers to think broadly about the services and goods being procured and consider how wider social value could be generated.  

 

The Enterprise and Regeneration Manager advised that a new Lead Officer position was proposed to deliver the Social Value Strategy, provide intensive support to officers, suppliers and partners, and ensure that the benefits were realised and recorded.  A dedicated software portal would also be created to enable the effective management of social value across the Council and its partners and demonstrate achievement of the principles set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act.   It was proposed that this be allocated from reserves for a period of three years to enable the systems to establish and the returns on investment to be realised.

 

The proposals were positively supported by the Committee.

 

Following a question from Councillor Geoff Collett, it was agreed that how the weight of tender evaluations, where a social value clause was included, would be explored.

 

The Chair commented on the need to ensure that local businesses/trades were given the opportunity to submit bids and were not disadvantaged by all Wales or regional contracts.  He also expressed concerns that there could be a risk of legal challenges.  During further discussion the Committee agreed with the suggestion from the Chair that the risks of legal challenge and securing value for money when considering the balance of quality and cost in the tender evaluations be added to the risk register.

 

Following the further comments and questions raised by Members the Chief Executive suggested that the possibility of Glyndwr University acting as an academic partner for strategy impact evaluation purposes be pursued.

RESOLVED:

 

(a)       That the draft Social Value Strategy be approved;

 

(b)       That the release of reserves funding to deliver the Social Value Strategy including the recruitment of a lead officer be approved; and

 

(c)        That the risks of legal challenge and securing value for money when considering the balance of quality and cost in the tender evaluations be added to the risk register.

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