Tuesday, October 15, 2019

News: New contracts policy aims to keep it local in Rotherham

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Rotherham Council has developed a new policy to ensure that more of its £300m annual spend is kept within the local economy, supporting Rotherham businesses and creating jobs in the borough.

The new Social Value policy aims to ensure that when the Council is buying goods and services, suppliers are encouraged to spend locally, employ Rotherham people, and work towards paying at least the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Living Wage.

If the plan is adopted, every contract the Council tenders with a value of £100,000 or over will be scored as to how it delivers real and sustainable social value.

It borrows from the "Preston model" where local spend in the Lancashire city from anchor institutions rose from 5% to 18.2%. Preston City Council now spends 28% with Preston-based businesses (2016) as opposed to 14% in 2012.

Alongside the cost and quality of a bid, the proposed social value will help to determine who is awarded a contract. Social value could take the form of good local jobs and skills development for local people, equality of opportunity, strengthened and sustainable community and voluntary sector organisations, keeping spend in the local supply chain and greater environmental sustainability.

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The Social Value commitment will account for 20% of the overall score for the tender bid and the Council said it will produce a public annual report each year on the Social Value that has been achieved.

For lower value contracts, it is proposed that the Council will ensure, when quotes are invited, at least one will be from the local area, to give local business more opportunities to win those contracts.

The policy also sets out an objective that, wherever possible, the Council will also commit to co-designing services, using the knowledge, experience and expertise of local people and organisations to make the best use of local assets. It is proposed that a Social Value Charter is developed with partners, encouraging organisations to commit to increased Social Value.

Cllr. Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council, said: "We have already seen in other parts of the country how councils can choose to spend more wisely, keeping more money in the local economy, encouraging suppliers to pay the real Living Wage and creating local job and training opportunities.

"For the first time, we are setting out a formal, measurable approach to ensure that council taxpayer’s money helps to make our local economy stronger, fairer and more environmentally friendly."

RMBC procurement website

Images: RMBC

2 comments:

Graldhunter October 15, 2019 at 1:18 PM  

RMBC what took ya so long?

M Benson,  October 15, 2019 at 2:15 PM  

Wasn't it about 15 years ago that the Council's Economic Development Department had a 'Buy Local' campaign (for itself and for local businesses needing goods\services) - that was 'fronted' by RiDO but was allowed, relatively quickly, to die away? Hopefully this version will be long lasting.

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