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Social value

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Social value involves looking beyond making decisions based on financial cost and instead at the wider benefit to a community.

It is about getting the most social, environmental and economic value when our money is being spent on making North East Lincolnshire a better place.

Examples of this could be things like:

  • making sure that local people get jobs when money is spent on new building schemes
  • bringing businesses to the area that reinvest some of their profits back in other services in the community

Our Social Value Policy aims to ensure a ‘social return’ from its investment by securing social value from:

  • doing responsible business and being a good employer
  • regeneration, housing and planning activity
  • business, economic growth/skills and work activity
  • internal providers, mutuals and joint venture partnerships

We look to secure better outcomes through:

  • new procedures and processes for acquiring social value in construction, goods and services
  • ensuring new developments bring public benefits (for example affordable housing/public realm)
  • embedding social value throughout the commissioning process

Download our Social Value Policy (Word, 50KB) .

Using social value to improve outcomes

Our policy aims to use social value to make the most difference across a variety of social, environmental and economic priority areas.

For people: Stronger communities (increased community strength and resilience)

  • More volunteering – This means individuals, groups and communities learning and sharing skills and expertise whilst providing assistance and support to others.
  • More young people in employment, education and training – This means they gain skills and work experience, possibly money in their pockets, an opportunity to realise their aspirations and a greater sense of wellbeing.
  • More people saying that they have good wellbeing – This means they are likely to be healthier, happier and more able to learn, work, earn and be socially active.

For the planet: Improve environmental sustainability (improved impact of the local environment on people’s wellbeing)

  • Less waste – This means cleaner streets, reduced fly-tipping, more recycling and each of us thinking ‘do we really need to buy it (whatever that thing is) before we do?’ Could we borrow it instead?
  • More recycling – This means more materials being reused and less waste going into the ground.
  • More green travel – This means less congested roads, better air quality and greater choice of how and when we travel.
  • More use of parks – This means fitter and healthier individuals with positive wellbeing and communities who are better able to learn, work, earn and be socially active

For prosperity: Stronger local economy (increased number of quality employment opportunities and reduced poverty for local citizens)

  • More companies paying the Living Wage – This means increased numbers of employees earning a wage on which to live on and being able to spend money within their local communities.
  • More local people from vulnerable groups accessing new jobs, apprenticeships, training and work experience placements – This means increased numbers of disabled people, LGBT and other often excluded or under-represented communities gaining skills and work experience, possibly money in their pockets, an opportunity to realise their aspirations and a greater sense of wellbeing.
  • Less fuel poverty – This means that more households do not have to spend more than 10% of their income on fuel, energy and do not have draughty homes with old and inefficient heating systems.
  • More purchasing from locally based companies – This means increased numbers of new jobs, apprenticeships, training and work experience placement opportunities, money being spent in local communities and a greater sense of wellbeing

What can you do to show your social value? Pledge what you can do to deliver improved social value in North East Lincolnshire. It does not sound much, but if all businesses, schools, hospitals, community groups etc, committed to do just one thing, then together we can make a real difference.

There are lots of ways you can make a difference. This could be anything from:

  • improving your own wellbeing
  • helping someone else to improve their wellbeing
  • recycle more
  • volunteer
  • use public transport
  • looking after your footpaths
  • enjoy our many parks and open spaces.

If everyone does a little bit towards social value then together we can make a big impact.

Making social value real and meaningful

The Council and its partners aim to maximise the benefit from all money invested in the borough. Achieving this involves commitment from the many private sector businesses and the wide variety of service providers. This means embedding a social value approach into every organisation no matter what its size or sector.

Social Value looks beyond price alone to the collective benefit of a community and the wider world. It includes positives such as happiness, wellbeing, inclusion, equality, employment and environment.

Measuring and evaluating social value

We want all organisations to be able to measure and then demonstrate their social value. This will allow:

  • providers to prove and improve their Social Value
  • all organisations to be accountable to their stakeholders
  • us to build up a picture of social value and impacts across the borough.

We want to better inform commissioning and procurement decisions around social value and be able to make the most difference to the lives of the people who live and work here.

Measure your social value

There are lots of tools and lots of ways to measure your social value. The problem will be choosing the one that’s best for you.

The New Economics Foundation’s Prove and Improve  website is a good place to start, as is their simple Impact Mapping tool.

  • Inputs – Resources of all kinds
  • Activities – What the organisation does
  • Outputs – The direct result of an activity
  • Outcomes – The longer term change it wants to see in people, communities, or areas it affects
  • Expected Impact – The values it holds

Demonstrating social value

Think about the key reasons why you want to measure your social value and your expectations about the process. Is it for being accountable to your staff and stakeholders; is it for tendering or fundraising; is it for your Annual Report?

The most important thing will be to get ‘buy in’ from all staff, as well as the people who manage your organisation or decide what it does.

By measuring social value, your organisation will be able to work over time to prove its value to others, improve its systems and arrangements to make the most value and be accountable to its stakeholders and investors. Above all it will be able to show how it is making a difference in North East Lincolnshire.

Annual procurement planning

The commercial services team publish planned procurements over £50,000 across all departments on an annual basis. You can view the plan on the procurement website , which is hosted by North Lincolnshire Council as part of the Procurement Alliance North and North East Lincolnshire (PANNEL) partnership.

Re-use of this information

This information is copyright of North East Lincolnshire Council and is provided and freely available for your re-use under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Occasionally, documents may contain copyrighted information – where this is the case, it will be stated. For more information on the Open Government Licence, please visit the National Archives Open Government Licence website.


Related websites

GOV.UK – Social value act information and resources

Contact details

Commissioning and Strategic Support Unit, Municipal Offices, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HU

Email: cssu@nelincs.gov.uk

Telephone: 01472 313131

Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am to 4:30pm, except bank holidays