By Cllr Tony Newman
Leader of Croydon Council
Social Value and Corporate Social Responsibility have become increasingly more important. It is now seen as an important feature of successful business. However we wanted to take this a step further in Croydon and build a strategic alliance with businesses, the community and other public sector organisations to ensure opportunities are not missed and that there is coordinated focus on supporting growth in the borough. As a Council we are working hard to be the type of Council all want to do business with and at the same time we want to be clear about the types of organisations we want to business with in the future.
By taking a partnership approach, real changes can be made more effectively. Social partnerships and ambitious leadership means working beyond our companies and institutional boundaries and focussing on the best outcomes for our people and our place. Value Croydon is about:
- supporting the creation of jobs for local people;
- providing training and skill development opportunities (particularly for young people);
- investing in local business growth through developing new business opportunities and social enterprise;
- opening up more commissioning opportunities to local business and the not for profit sector;
- supporting our business partners to deliver added social benefits that enhance the quality of life of Croydon’s communities.
Social value also continues to be a focus helping us derive maximum benefit from commissioning and procurement activity. Social value ensures the Council gets more from every pound it spends by challenging and encouraging providers to not only meet minimum requirements of the contract but to also consider how they can contribute to achieving our strategic objectives through the way in which they deliver their services.
On the 22nd of January we held a launch event for the ‘Value Croydon’ initiative, where 26 of our key suppliers showcased their investment in Social Value and opportunities in Croydon, 29 organisations supported the event, and 116 local SMEs attended. It was a great success and the atmosphere was extremely positive between the suppliers and our local businesses, inspired by the commitments and announcements on the day by the Chief Executive (Nathan Elvery), the Leader of the Council (Cllr Tony Newman) and Cabinet Leads for Finance and Treasury (Cllr Simon Hall), Safety and Justice (Cllr Mark Watson) and Economic Development (Cllr Toni Letts).
‘Value Croydon’ aims to bring together businesses, the community and all public sector agencies to focus on developing social partnerships. Partnerships that focus on delivering improved outcomes for Croydon communities and ensure that the way public services are delivered in the borough support and enhance the lives of Croydon people.
This is the first in a series of events and the launch event focus was on promoting local supply chain opportunities by raising the profile of the diverse Croydon business sector and enabling the development of productive relationships with our key suppliers and partners.
“Our recently published Growth Strategy (Croydon Promise) puts small businesses at the heart of our growth as a place and community. The Council has an important role to play creating and facilitating opportunities for local businesses to play an active part in, and benefit from, the opportunities emerging in the borough.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
“Value Croydon marks a radical new direction in the way the council does business. We want to place social value at the heart of what we do in terms of commissioning contracts for council services. Supporting local businesses is a major priority for this administration, with a strong emphasis on making sure that they get the opportunity to pitch for council contracts. This event is a great opportunity for those local businesses to meet and make connections with our key suppliers and partners.”
Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance and treasury
Cllr Tony Newman is Leader of Croydon Council. You can follow him on Twitter at @CllrTony.