On 28th February the third reading of the Social Value Bill took place in the House of Lords and was the final chance for the Lords to change the Bill. No amendments were made and the Bill now goes to the Commons for the Consideration of Amendments. Once the Commons and Lords agree on the final version, it can receive Royal Assent and after which it becomes an Act of Parliament and law. It is envisaged that the Bill will be law by summer 2012.
The Social Value Bill aims to strengthen the social enterprise business sector and make the concept of 'social value' more relevant and important in the provision and placement of public services. The Bill states that public bodies will have to consider social and environmental benefits as well as financial aspects when awarding contracts.
The National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) expects that the Social Value Bill will enable charities and voluntary organisations to win more public service contracts.
Navca chief executive, Joe Irvin said:
"Chris White's Bill builds Social Value into contracts drawn up by public bodies, including local authorities. It means that from now on they will have to consider the full benefits to the community that providers offer. It will open the door for many local charities to contribute more to their communities. It is no mean feat to get a private members bill through Parliament with cross-party support, so Chris White deserves massive praise for his foresight and determination….”
“Our task now is to ensure that it is implemented well and everywhere, with a proper definition of what Social Value means…"
The proposed Bill will apply to all government departments, local authorities, NHS bodies and housing associations in England and Wales.
Involve Yorkshire and Humber will continue to monitor the Bill and will provide any updates on major developments. In the meantime you can get more information on the UK Parliament website .