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Central government clarifies how social, economic and environmental value should be considered in service, procurement and commissioning decisions

New statutory guidance on the Best Value Duty from the Department for Community and Local Government sets out expectations of the way local authorities and other relevant bodies should work with voluntary and community groups and small businesses when facing difficult funding decisions.

The guidance states that authorities should consider economic, environmental and social value when reviewing service provision. Social value is defined as being about seeking to maximise the additional benefit that can be created by procuring or commissioning goods or services above and beyond merely the benefit of the goods or services themselves.

This guidance indicates a strengthening of the legal and policy framework that enables the use and evaluation of social considerations - "community benefit clauses" - intenders and contracts. 

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