Confused about the Public Services (Social Value) Act? Have no fear, the ambassador is here.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd announced today at the Social Value Conference that Chris White, MP for Warwick and Leamington who was responsible for initiating the Social Value Act, is appointed as the first official Social Value Ambassador.
In this role, White will be working closely with local governments and the voluntary sector to raise awareness of the Act, which came into effect on January 31, 2013.
“I look forward to working with stakeholders in local government and the public sector as well as engaging with civil society organisations and social enterprises on the ground to see how we can make sure that this Act reaches its full potential,” said White.
The Act is designed to open up opportunities for social enterprises as it ensures that local governments and commissioners procure services with maximum social benefit to the community, and do not look simply at the economics.
White, while working as a District Councillor in Warwick, was inspired to initiate the Act when he saw first-hand that charities and voluntary organizations lost out on contracts that they may have won had the contracts been designed with social value in mind.
The Act requires that Local Authority commissioners must now consider the social impact before they start the procurement process and allow people to have a say on the services to be procured.
As an example, if a Local Authority was searching for a “meals on wheels” service for elderly people, it may speak with potential users, suppliers, and interested stakeholders. Through this consultation, it may find that potential users suffer from loneliness and social isolation. In turn, it may opt for a service where people are taken to a local community for their meals to solve these problems.
The Cabinet Office has also produced guidance on the Act for procurers and commissioners.
Source: Cabinet Office.
Social Enterprise Buzz is a media company dedicated to covering social enterprise news from around the world. We publish a range of stories from startups to entrepreneurship, innovation, and finance, which showcase business making the world a better place. Read more.