Communities at the heart of new spending policy

Published
07.10.2020

Kings Square is set to become the first major project to fly the flag for Gloucester City Council’s proposed Social Value Policy.

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The policy which could be rubber stamped at next Wednesday’s (October 14) cabinet meeting puts the city’s communities at the very heart of procurement decisions.

It will outline that any procurement contract worth more than £50,000 needs to consider and outline the impact on the community’s economic, social, and environmental wellbeing.

Providers must meet a number of benchmarks including: promoting local skills and employment, supporting growth of responsible regional business, creating healthier, safer and more resilient communities, protecting and improving our environment and promoting social innovation.

Kings Square, which is also set to come before cabinet, will see the contractor carrying out the construction selected on the basis of the new policy with the successful contractor required to commit to local apprenticeship opportunities and enhancing local skills.

Councillors will be asked to give the go-ahead to appoint the contractor for the multi-million pound project, at the meeting, and contractors will also be asked to recognise the importance of maximising money spent within the city.

In addition, educational opportunities will be written into the contract with plans for school visits and other community involvement, for example, in the design of the site hoardings.

Gloucester Culture Trust has also been working with local colleges and Universities to provide training opportunities for students as part of preparation for the Forum, the vibrant new social and digital campus for Kings Square.

Councillor Jennie Watkins, Cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhoods at Gloucester City Council, said: “By producing our Social Value Policy we can support our community’s needs and aspirations in a really practical way and make sure our decisions positively impact residents’ lives across the wider city as much as possible. I’m very grateful to our stakeholder working group for their contribution to helping shape a Gloucester specific framework. We wanted to ensure this policy was in place ready for the delivery of our Kings Quarter development to deliver the widest possible range of benefits back into the community in terms of jobs, skills, wellbeing and supporting community led action.” 

Councillor Richard Cook, Leader of the Council, said: “Kings Quarter is the largest and most ambitious project we are undertaking as a Council, with Kings Square at the centre of it, so it makes sense that it incorporates our values as a Council and benefits our community as much a possible.”

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