Plymouth Council pledges to spend every pound locally

Plymouth Council has launched a new social value policy that says every pound the authority spends should be spent locally.

The council spends over £200m each year on products and services, which they think can be better used to help SMEs in Plymouth and boost the local economy.

The council will consider if the company involved pays their staff the Living Wage Foundation hourly rate of £9 per hour, employs a specified number of apprentices or takes certain actions to minimise environmental damage.

The criteria also consider jobs and training and how the company looks after the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff.

Cllr Chris Penberthy, cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development, presented the policy to his colleagues on Tuesday.

He said: ‘I’m really pleased to have finalised this policy and to have social value officially stamped into the culture of the council.

‘Times are tight, we all know that. We don’t have the money that we used to have which means we have to make every pound work.

‘Let’s say we want to employee a plastered for The Box. If we make sure the company we use employ care leavers and engage with local schools, then we know that some of the money we have spent has been reinvested back into our community.

‘It’s a small part of a much bigger picture of making sure that we make dwindling council resources go as far as they possibly can.’

In July, Plymouth became the first UK city to join the Fab City network of cities who have pledged to produce everything they consume by 2054.

The Fab City Global Initiative was launched in 2016 and now includes 34 cities, regions and countries, including Detroit, Amsterdam, Bhutan, Shenzhen, Ekurhuleni, Santiago de Chile, Boston and Paris.

It was created to help cities establish new urban systems that are sustainable and encourage city leaders to work innovatively to meet progressive social, economic, governance and sustainable development goals.

Plymouth will have access to ‘The Fab City Prototype’, which is a large scale digital demonstrator that allows experimentation with end-users and local ecosystems.

Signatories to the Fab City manifesto agree to implement ten principles to enable the urban transition towards locally productive and globally connected cities.

These include a commitment to what they call ‘glocalism’ – a focus on producing locally but encouraging the sharing of global knowledge.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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