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Social value in contracts means getting more good things from a contract beyond the specified goods, services, or works.

Under the Public Services (Social Value) Act we must consider economic, social, and environmental benefits, and the cost when procuring public services.

Before we start the process, we consider what's good for the community as a whole, and keep in mind the following principles:

  • promote local skills and employment;
  • support the growth of responsible regional business;
  • healthier, safer, and more resilient communities;
  • decarbonising and safeguarding our world;
  • promoting social innovation.

We're part of the Co-operative Council's Innovation Network and are committed to changing how we operate. We want to build a fair partnership with local people based on the values and principles of the International Co-operative Alliance.

To make sure we achieve social value, we'll help develop a framework and criteria. This way, we give substance to the idea and make sure we get better social and economic results locally. Social value can support the goals of community wealth building, helping local economies, restoring trust in local services, and giving businesses and communities a bigger role in the local economy.  

We are committed to ensuring a high standard of ethical trade practices in our commissioning and procurement activities.

We expect everyone we work with - suppliers, service providers, and contractors to be honest and transparent, following the laws of the countries they operate in.

We're committed to the Cooperative Party Charter against modern slavery. This means we're working to make sure there are ethical labour practices in our supply chain and establish strong recruitment processes.

For contractors, they must fully comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, if they don't their contract could be terminated. Procurement can sometimes be a target for unfair, dishonest, and corrupt activities.

But we're taking steps to minimise these risks. We've made clear policy statements and codes of conduct that everyone - members, staff, and the public can easily access.