STAR Procurement, the shared procurement service for Rochdale, Stockport and Trafford councils is celebrating securing over £31 million of social value in 2019, with more than 50% of this being delivered in Greater Manchester. Their social value portal enables them to capture, record, contract manage and deliver social value on contracts. There's been an increase in Greater Manchester bidders and more local contract winners, with increased engagement from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.
Social value has been as important as ever during the pandemic, with STAR securing more relevant social value during lockdown, helping local communities. They have developed a plan to help with the recovery, including a Coronavirus (COVID-19) plug-in that gives current and new suppliers the option to provide coronavirus related support.
Director of STAR Procurement, Lorraine Cox said: "Our outcomes are not just the result of implementing a new system, it has been through a campaign of making social value everyone's business."
Back in 2017 Rochdale Borough Council launched a campaign to increase spending with local suppliers, encouraging more businesses to register on 'The Chest' – the online procurement portal, managed by STAR Procurement. Being registered means businesses have access to contract opportunities with the council and other public bodies, including Stockport, Tameside and Trafford councils.
Council leader Allen Brett said: "Many local businesses offer more benefits to the local community than national organisations. I am pleased even more are considering the benefits of social value they can offer when bidding for contracts."
Councillor Oliver Ryan, Chair of the STAR Joint Committee added: "STAR are the first to implement the social value portal on this scale and across a shared service. The results are well beyond our initial expectations. This has been achieved through exceptional leadership and commitment from our four organisations. We have more plans for the future and will continue to lead the way and show the real difference social value is making to local communities".