From policy to practice; how Social Value can change lives in Manchester

In the last decade, Social Value has gone from unknown and untested to the flavour of the month. Here Jonty and Matthew reflect on Manchester’s early adoption of socially-minded procurement, its impact to date and its role going forward.

The idea that when local authorities buy goods and services they should ensure that the money given to suppliers produces good social, economic, and environmental outcomes might now seem like common sense, but ten years ago there was no Social Value Policy Act and very little activity around of this nature.

Manchester City Council spend is building local wealth

Today, new findings revealing where Manchester City Council spends its money will be presented by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) during a Power of Procurement 2018, a local wealth building event at Manchester Central Library.

In 2016/17, Manchester City Council spent £445.6 million with its top 300 suppliers (by value of contract). CLES has analysed this procurement spend to establish where this money has gone and to understand its impact on the Manchester economy and residents. CLES has been working with Manchester City Council since 2008 to analyse its annual procurement spend and to improve its procurement process so that it addresses local need and brings greater benefits to Manchester’s residents and businesses.

  • Community Wealth Building Workshop

    A workshop session taking place in Manchester on Thursday 2nd November will introduce Community Wealth Building.

    The Stir to Action Workshop delivered by CLES will focus on how historical and contemporary approaches to economic development, such as inward investment, have not always brought the benefits they should in economic, social and environmental terms. Community Wealth Building recognises that places do not necessarily need to attract new wealth to grow economically and socially – instead they need to harness existing wealth which comes through amongst other things: their anchor institutions; their procurement spend; their complementary currencies; their banking practices; and their community businesses. Harnessing this wealth more effectively will bring economic, social, and environmental benefits for their communities.

    Mayoral Election Special: Tackling poverty through social value

    Ahead of Manchester’s Mayoral Election, tomorrow, Greater Manchester Poverty Action has asked stakeholders across the city region to set out what they think the newly elected mayor needs to prioritise to drive down poverty. Matthew Jackson is Chair of Greater Manchester Social Value Network (GMSVN) and Deputy Chief Executive of CLES; here’s what he had to say…

    Greater Manchester attracts and already has a significant amount of wealth which does not always reach the right places – social value* is a means through which the benefits of this wealth can be reallocated and realised for all.

    Progressing procurement processes and practice in Manchester

    Around ten years ago, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) started undertaking work around public procurement. Our interest in procurement was three-fold. First, we wanted to understand more effectively where procurement spend went and the impact in particular it had upon local economies. Second, we wanted to shift the behaviour of procurement officers so that a wider range of factors informed the procurement decision. Third, we wanted to influence the behaviour of suppliers so that they delivered greater benefits for local economies and people through the provision of goods and services.

    Centre for Ageing Better commissions CLES to research helping over 50s get back into work in Greater Manchester

    The Centre for Ageing Better has commissioned the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) – in partnership with the Learning and Work Institute – to carry out research and co-design work to address worklessness and job insecurity amongst people aged 50 and over in Greater Manchester.  This project is part of a partnership between Ageing Better and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) with one of the key aims of supporting people aged 50 and over back into work.

    Across Greater Manchester, almost one in three people aged 50-64 are not in work  – and more than a fifth of those who are working are in low paid jobs. Low pay is also a significant economic and social challenge for the region. The research and co-design project will develop and test a new approach to support these people and is part of Ageing Better’s commitment to help more people live good later lives. Being out of work or in low quality work in your 50s is associated with poor health, financial insecurity and social isolation, and impacts negatively on wellbeing.