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Social value

We have launched a Social Value Policy for our decision making, procurement and contract delivery of its goods, services and works. While Social Value is a broad spectrum of things, our vision is to make West Northamptonshire a great place to live, work, visit and thrive. Our Social Value Policy is therefore focussed on Jobs, Growth, Communities and Environment in our locality. It explains what Social Value means to West Northamptonshire and what, how and when we intend to do to incorporate social value into our early decision making and procurements and contract management.

Our policy feeds into the National Social Value requirements whilst staying focussed to our Council plan.

The Social Value priorities of WNC are as follows:

  • Jobs - Promote local skills and employment
  • Growth - Supporting growth of responsible regional business
  • Social - Healthier, safer and more resilient communities
  • Environment - Decarbonising and safeguarding our world

Many councils are already incorporating Social Value into their processes so this will be a concept that many will be familiar with. It is hoped with this approach we can harness innovation and benefits that would not normally be recognised or recorded and show our citizens that these outcomes do matter.

A copy of our Social Value Policy can be obtained by request via email at [email protected].

What can I do?

We require our suppliers to set out the social, economic and environmental benefits they achieve when performing on our contracts meaning that the true commercial impact is taken into account when tendering. It will encourage vendors to consider the way that they deliver goods, services or works, for example:

  • creating job opportunities for local residents, those not in employment or for people with disabilities
  • providing support, advice or mentoring opportunities to the unemployed, schools or school leavers
  • providing opportunities for a diverse range of suppliers, including the participation of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and 3rd sector organisations, and local suppliers in general
  • offering a range of apprenticeship, training and skills development opportunities as well as employment opportunities
  • providing support for communities
  • promoting greater environmental sustainability: minimising waste and pollution, supporting carbon reduction initiatives, furthering energy efficiency and other sustainability activities

Your response to the Social Value questions could make the difference whether your bid is successful or not. To assist bidders / suppliers in considering Social Value in your bids effectively, we have set out some helpful information on this page.

Our top tips


  • familiarise yourself with our social value policy and the priorities we are focused on here
  • familiarise yourself with some of the links about the Social Value Portal and Social Value in general below

During the tender

Before writing your bid:

  • read our tender or quote documents and any other information published with a procurement that highlights how they approach Social Value
  • consider the TOMs "menu" for ideas
  • consider what you might have done on previous contracts
  • be aware that solutions that are not part of delivering the core requirements should be delivered at no additional cost to us. The costs of delivering these additional elements should be covered by you
  • read the questions properly
  • if you are unsure of any terminology used, or what we are asking, ask us - that's what clarification periods are for
  • talk to your own supply chain / consortium members, they may be able to help you to identify and deliver Social Value commitments
  • feel free to consider options that will help you as a business as well as West Northants: Such as health and wellbeing support for staff

Post tender

  • if successful, it is very likely that you will be contractually obliged to deliver on your Social Value commitments promised, so ensure that they are realistic and deliverable
  • agree with our contract officers how and when you will report on your progress in delivering your Social Value commitments during the contract
  • if unsuccessful, ask for feedback and specifically ask about Social Value, so you can improve your offer / approach for the next opportunity

Social Value FAQ's

What is the social value weighting in tenders?Where possible, we use a minimum of 10% as a guide; but it is proportionate to the contract being procured
Why don't I always see social value in the quotations I am submitting?Not all tender opportunities that we advertise are suitable for the capture of additional Social Value. If Social Value is not included in a procurement document, you can always ask during the procurement period to check that it has been considered and discounted
Will current suppliers have an advantage in the evaluation process?No. We make sure that all suppliers are treated equally, by providing all bidders with the same detailed information to support their submissions
If I am a supplier who is not based within the Council’s area, does this mean that I won't win any work?No it doesn't, but you can enhance your bid by offering and providing Social Value within our locality
Is it all about price?No. Evaluation criteria is based upon proportionality and relevance to what we are buying in terms of Price, Quality and Social Value

Useful Links

Last updated 25 October 2023