Creating jobs and apprenticeships for residents, opportunities for local businesses to provide goods and supporting community projects and schools is the aim of a new Social Value Policy.
St Helens Borough Council has set out ambitious plans to bring additional value to communities through everything it does by measuring, monitoring, and growing social value across all services.
A new Social Value Policy has been approved by Cabinet on Wednesday 9 November, which sets out how the council plans to use social value to bring more benefits for residents, businesses, and communities through its investments.
Social value is the economic, environmental, and community value which comes from council projects. Benefits from contracts could include training and employment opportunities such as apprenticeships in our suppliers, climate change mitigation such as solar panels and green energy, increasing local spend and local suppliers being used by the council and its supply chains, and initiatives to support physical and mental wellbeing such as sensory gardens.
The approach follows partners in the Liverpool City Region and supports the council’s existing commitments to topics like the climate emergency, while also complementing its emerging Inclusive Growth Strategy.
Councillor Martin Bond, Cabinet Member for Finance and Governance, said: “This is an exciting and ambitious approach that is in keeping the values of St Helen Borough Council and will allow us to get better benefits for our residents, businesses, and communities, without using our extremely limited funds.
“This is not new, and we have already seen some excellent examples of where we have gained additional benefits from things we would do anyway. Major schemes such as Glass Futures, Parkside Link Road, St Helens Crematorium refurbishment and Earlestown Town Hall refurbishment are all delivering social value in the form of jobs, apprenticeships, school partnerships on topics like STEM skills and much more.
“This new policy will allow us to go even further to get wider benefit from every penny the council spends on delivering for residents and businesses.”
In the new year the council will begin to expand the use of social value in its procurement processes, covering its role as a buyer, before to expand the approach in its roles as an employer, service provider, and investor. The impact of social value will also be monitored and reported on to reflect the investment made and the difference it makes on the lives of people in the borough.