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Social Value at Essex County Council

Social Value through public procurement

Essex County Council (ECC) has adopted the National TOMs methodology and framework and customised them for our specific priorities and objectives as detailed in our  'Everyone's Essex' Corporate Strategy and Essex County Council Social Value Policy. Please visit our ECC TOMs page for more detailed information. 

Social Value is part of the quality component when evaluating bids and will have a weight of up to 20%. As a target Essex County Council aims to provide £0.25p of Social Value commitments for every pound spent through public procurement in tenders £100,000 and over.


We have 4 key social value Themes
  1. A Strong, Inclusive and Sustainable Economy
  2. A Good Place for Children and Families to Grow
  3. Health, Wellbeing and Independence for all Ages
  4. A high-quality environment
We have 8 key social value Outcomes

These are practical and deliverables, and enable organisations across various sectors and industries to align their projects objectives

  1. Essex residents in employment, skills gaps reduced and barriers to employment reduced for disadvantaged groups
  2. Business growth and the impact of public sector spend within the county maximised
  3. Outcomes improved for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups
  4. Businesses and communities support the achievement of education outcomes
  5. Our partners to help make our communities safer and address key issues such as violence and vulnerability, and safety for women and girls
  6. Residents enabled to live independently and increased proportion of people able to live healthy lifestyles
  7. Partners and communities address the socio-economic drivers that underpin poor health outcomes, such as poor housing, poverty, economic insecurity and low skills
  8. Suppliers contribute to the delivery of net zero targets; reduced greenhouse gases; reduced waste; and strengthened climate resilience
We have 43 social value Measures

These are actions or initiatives that a supplier could commit to support a particular desired outcome, and bring additional benefit to our communities in Essex.

For Example: 

A supplier has chosen to support Essex County Council reduce waste and strengthened climate resilience, accordingly, the supplier have entered their proposed target level, in kilos, for recycling plastic in their organisation, as well as including in their Social Value Statement, their current level for plastic recycling, in kilos, and what actions they are planning to take in order to meet their targets.

An ambitious journey 

In 2019, ECC began a new approach to maximize economic, social, and environmental well-being for its residents when spending public money. This initiative was part of a broader ambition to integrate best practices into the council's operations and extend beyond them.

The council's journey started with a benchmarking exercise as part of the Local Government Association’s National Procurement Strategy assessment. The findings revealed that while ECC was compliant with existing legislation, there was room to achieve more, especially in terms of social value. With a substantial annual spend and a large number of suppliers, ECC recognized the potential to generate significant benefits for the community.

To realize this potential, ECC developed a social value policy and toolkit, tailored to its strategic priorities. This included adapting the National Themes, Outcomes, and Measures (TOMs) framework to the local context, providing a consistent and transparent approach to evaluating and measuring social value for suppliers. 

The ECC's social value journey is a testament to the council's commitment to creating a positive impact on the community through its procurement activities.  You can read more about ECC Social Value journey by clicking ECC Social Value journey on PDF. and the results of our first Social Value pilot project on PDF

If you have any questions about ECC social value approach or if you need information on this website in a different format, please email social.value@essex.gov.uk 

Last updated: 05/04/2024