The national launch event was chaired by Chris White MP, the author of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. Mark Cook, partner at Anthony Collins and author of the Guide sat on the panel at the event, which also consisted of Shilpi Akbar of Birmingham City Council and Simon Dingle from Carillion who discussed positive experiences of improving youth employability during the build of the new Birmingham Library, as well as Richard Macfarlane who gave a presentation on the report.

The Report and its accompanying Legal Guide were well received by those attending, not least by Chris White who described the Report as "revolutionary in its ideas" and said that the approach championed by Mark Cook and Richard Macfarlane represented "a culture shift in the way we do business".

It was agreed by delegates that there was a growing commitment in the public sector to ensuring social value through procurement, but that still more could be achieved. Addressing this issue, Mark Cook referred to the law in this area saying he was “not sure enough people know they have permission to require social value through the use of public contracts." He explained that the firm's new guide should reassure any contracting authorities still in doubt that not only do domestic and European procurement laws enable them to insist on social value from contractors, but in some cases require it of them.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is committed to use the Report as the starting point for on-going discussions with politicians and civil servants with the aim of effecting change in central and local government.

Anthony Collins Solicitors is similarly committed to helping to maximise the potential for social value through their contracts, which is why it has made its Legal Guide freely available for download here.

For more information

If you would like to discuss any of the issues set out in this briefing and the attached guide, please email Mark Cook (mark.cook@anthonycollins.com) or Gayle Monk (gayle.monk@anthonycollins.com) or telephone them on 0121 212 7472.

For further discussion of this report and its launch event, can be found by following the below external links:

Richard Macfarlane’s report

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Government Opportunities, John Tizard