social value

Economic think tank calls for restoration of public values

CLES, the UK’s independent progressive economics think and do tank, has today launched a paper calling for the restoration of public values in public services.

Restoring Public Values in Public Services outlines how a ‘private is best’ approach has led to a situation in which public services are too often outsourced to low quality, high cost providers who, in a race to the bottom, have compromised the dignity and safety of people who rely on these services.

Social Value is not enough – It’s time to restore Public Values

Last week the government launched a series of new initiatives around ‘Social Value’, a much vaunted policy agenda which started with the passage of the Social Value Act in 2012. Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington has announced that by summer 2019, government procurements will be required to take social and economic benefits into account in certain priority areas, as well as new transparency rules for those bidding for public contracts.

The government’s attempt to get businesses to consider their social impact can be understood as an acknowledgement that something has gone awry in the state of commissioning public services. The dramatic collapse of outsourcing giant Carillion in January 2018 has prompted a new wave of governmental thinking about how goods and services are purchased. With public opinion increasingly moving against poor provision of public services (most noticeably the much criticised railway system), this extension of the Social Value Act represents the government’s response.

  • 8 ways to enhance the role of housing providers

    Housing providers have a significant role to play in the functioning of the economies in which they are based and in addressing social issues. They achieve this through the delivery of activities which complement and supplement public services and contribute to a variety of outcomes including around employment, and health and well-being.

    Like other place based anchor institutions, housing providers also have a key lever for economic, social and environmental change at their disposal in the form of procurement. All housing organisations will purchase goods, services and works and will have a process in place to design, procure and deliver these. However, the challenge with procurement historically is that it has often been overly bureaucratic, with price the primary decision-making criteria; and little opportunity to utilise procurement to address wider issues.

    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.

    Social Value – the key role of Commissioning and Procurement

    At the Greater Manchester Social Value Network (GMSVN) we are seeking to ensure that social value is embedded in everything that Greater Manchester as a place does. That means social value being at the heart of Greater Manchester strategy and embedded in the DNA of the public sector, businesses and the voluntary and community sector.

  • Victoria Bettany

    Senior Researcher

  • Matthew Todd

    Senior Researcher

  • Greater Manchester Social Value Network

    CLES has been involved in developing the Greater Manchester Social Value Network, the core purpose of which is to influence stakeholders, policy and strategy at the Greater Manchester level around social value.

  • RESEARCH

    Creating a good local economy: the role of anchor institutions

    22nd April 2015
    Anchor institutions are crucial to the functioning of our local economies. They bring wealth in the form of jobs and supply chains...
  • RESEARCH

    Living wage and the role of local government

    3rd November 2014
    Developed by CLES in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Living Wage campaign this think piece identifies a number of key ro...