Executive considered a detailed report presented by the Chair of Local Growth Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Jen Wilson, in relation to a Review undertaken by the Committee regarding integration of social value to BDC policy and delivery.
The objectives agreed were to review how social value could be integrated in to current policy and delivery, based on best practice examples, investigate how the Council could maximise the social value benefits of the Coalite development, with specific emphasis on skilled jobs, and how this could be applied to other development sites within the District. Assess how wide the social value strategy should be developed, engaging with other service areas/Scrutiny Committees as required, and assess how the integration of social value could be supported by developing a ‘cooperative council’ approach.
The key issues identified for investigation were detailed in the report. The key findings arising from the review were that the Council was well placed to move forward in this area following initial integration of social value by the Partnerships team. The draft Policy produced was in line with national guidance for such documents and mirrored those of best practice authorities, and the procurement of a social value calculator tool had been robust with significant officer and Member input.
Scrutiny Committee had put together six recommendations, as detailed in the report, which would hopefully assist the Council in embedding social value in to the wider policy structures and operational delivery of the Council.
Councillor McGregor noted the report was a good report. He referred to paragraph 2.3 and advised the meeting that a system had been in place for a long time which enabled evidence of section 106 agreements agreed as part of planning permissions. He added that the Scrutiny Committee could seek information regarding this system from the Interim Planning Policy Manager.
The Assistant Director Leader’s Executive, Partnerships, Governance and Communications noted that this was originally trialled via a tool acquired from the Cabinet Office and used by the Partnership Team to monitor grants to voluntary organisations, which turned out to be a really successful exercise to demonstrate the amount pound for pound, that the Council received for investing in grants to the voluntary organisations programme. She added that it was good to see that this would be used for all the projects and initiatives across the Council, particularly in terms of parish and town councils and communities across the District.
Moved by Councillor Duncan McGregor and seconded by Councillor Liz Smyth
RESOLVED that (1) the recommendations of the review as outlined in section 2 of the report be endorsed,
(2) monitoring by Scrutiny Committee takes place over a twelve month period via the PERFORM system with an update report to Committee at the end of the monitoring period.
Reasons for Recommendation
The Scrutiny Committee have put together six recommendations which will hopefully assist the Council in embedding social value in to the wider policy structures and operational delivery of the Council.
Alternative Options and Reasons for Rejection
Due to the requirements of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, the Council must seek to bolster compliance and refresh the approach to securing social value outcomes. As such a ‘do nothing’ approach is not a viable option. Executive could choose not to endorse the recommendations of the review, where they feel the course of action recommended is beyond the delivery capacity of the Authority