Background to the Policy

Coventry City Council implemented its first Social Value Policy in 2014, following the publication of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. This policy is the second revision and has been updated to fall in line with the latest practices of evaluating, embedding and measuring Social Value and Sustainability.

This policy replaces the Council’s Energy and Water Management Policy and covers a much broader definition of sustainability. This new policy will ensure that the way we operate as a Council will be as sustainable as possible and help the city to achieve its climate change targets. Underpinning this policy sits a number of specific sustainability polices such as ‘Energy & Carbon’ and ‘Single Use Plastics’, which support the Council’s Social Value and Sustainability Outcomes as detailed in Appendix 1.

Coventry City Council plays an important role in the provision of services to the people of Coventry as well as our influence over economic growth and development. Our property estates, operations, and the actions of our staff and suppliers have environmental impacts and we are seeking to reduce our impacts including carbon emissions within the Council and the city. The specific sustainability policies aim to set out the context in which we will work both internally and with our stakeholders to manage our environmental responsibilities and to ensure we lead by example and work towards a clean, green sustainable Coventry.

The impacts of Climate Change disproportionately impact on those living in the more deprived areas, therefore mitigating against Climate Change will contribute towards reducing health inequalities.

Since 2013, Coventry has been a Marmot City, demonstrating a strong unified commitment to addressing the health inequalities in the city which ultimately result in those in the most deprived areas of the city living fewer years in good health and dying at a younger age than their more affluent peers. These health inequalities are driven by a range of wider determinants: social, economic and environmental factors which impact on people’s lives, which are affected by policies and practices implemented by the council and other organisations and businesses across the city. Embedding social value can lead to improved service delivery, greater economic growth, greater engagement with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, improved wellbeing and quality of life and an increase in the resilience of communities. Acting to increase social value also has the potential, in the longer term, to reduce demand on health and other services by improving the health and wellbeing of the population [“Using the Social Value Act to reduce health inequalities in England through action on the social determinants of health” Public Health England & UCL Institute of Health Equity Sept 2015].

However, we know that we cannot do this alone and the One Coventry approach will help us to challenge ourselves to ensure that our focus is on those things that people value most. It will help the Council to do the right thing and be clear about why we do things and why we can’t, but it will also help us to bring in new ideas and involve the right people. We must enable our residents to do more for themselves and change traditional relationships.

Policy page 4