Progressive procurement measures to help drive inclusive economic growth, improve the local environment and support vulnerable people are outlined in Belfast City Council’s draft social value procurement policy, which today (Wednesday) goes out for public consultation.
Businesses, contractors and organisations involved in the local supply chain are being encouraged to have their say on the draft policy which outlines the measures that the Council will put in place to achieve these ambitions, while also ensuring the best value for money when purchasing goods, works and services – boosting the local economy at the same time.
Councillor Aine Groogan, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: “Council has successfully incorporated employment clauses within its procurement activity for a number of years now. Through this approach we have worked with contractors to provide apprenticeships as part of major investment projects in the city, such as our £105 million Leisure Transformation Programme. We want to build on this success to ensure we are delivering even more tangible social, economic and environmental benefits that ultimately make life better for people in our local communities.”
The draft Social Value Procurement Policy has been developed to help deliver on the inclusive growth ambitions of reducing poverty, economic inactivity, unemployment and underemployment, as outlined in the Belfast Agenda, the city’s community plan. With micro and small businesses making up around 90% of all Belfast businesses, the policy aims to support the local supply chain, increase the capacity of the local supply market and implement measures to ensure that the Council’s spend boosts the local economy.
Some of the measures outlined in the policy include encouraging and rewarding suppliers who reduce the use of zero hours contracts and pay employees the Real Living Wage. Council also proposes to encourage the use of reserved contracts to support social enterprises and co-operatives and introduce social value scoring and weighing in the evaluation of tender applications.
Councillor Groogan added: “Our message to our supply chain is clear – we want to do business with suppliers who have a strong people, environmental and ethical focus within their business, and we are keen to work with local suppliers as we develop and roll out the measures outlined within our Social Value Procurement Policy”.
“I encourage all existing and potential suppliers, from micro and small businesses, social enterprises and co-operatives through to established contractors and larger organisations, to review the proposals and provide their feedback to help shape the final policy.”
A number of online information workshops will also provide an opportunity to find out more and ask questions on the proposals.
You can read the draft policy, provide feedback and register for the online workshops through Belfast City Council’s consultation hub at yoursay.belfastcity.gov.uk
The consultation will remain open until Tuesday 14 December 2021.