Laura Sharman 26 June 2014

Councils say Social Value Act is improving service delivery

Councils say Social Value Act is improving service delivery image

Local authorities say that delivering social value has led to better service delivery, cost savings and improved community relations, according to a new report.

Communities Count: the Four Steps to Unlocking Social Value, published by Social Enterprise UK, found that 71% of local authorities and housing associations believe the Social Value Act has led to better service delivery. Over half (52%) said it had also led to cost savings, with 82% reporting it has improved the image of their organisation.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: ‘The findings in this report are very good news and clearly demonstrate that integrating social value can bring a wide range of benefits to local authorities and housing associations and the communities in which they operate.

‘It shows social value can be viewed as a strategy for innovation and cost savings, not just as the creation of positive social outcomes or, at worse, compliance to the Act.’

However, the report also revealed that 43% of local authorities said it was difficult to define social value, with more than half saying reporting measurement was the main barrier to implementation. Only 37% of respondents said they currently have a defined social value policy.

The report calls on local authorities to adopt a written policy and a nominated lead for social value, and integrate social value across all services.

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