Salford City Council’s latest report shows how, pound by pound, council spending is changing lives, transforming the city and boosting the local economy.
Five years ago, City Mayor Paul Dennett launched a campaign to make sure every pound spent by the council in buying goods and services generated ‘social value’ for the city from creating jobs and apprenticeships to supporting local suppliers, enhancing the environment and even boosting volunteering.
Now the council, which was one of the first in the country to publish an annual social impact report, has released its latest figures.
“One of our biggest achievements this year has been to write social value into every major planning development, the first council in England to do this,” said Councillor Jack Youd, lead member for finance and support services.
“On top of the £7.46 million in Section 106 money we secured last year – with more to come when developments become viable – we’re now requiring any developer wanting to build 10 or more houses or large business or industrial units to show extra benefits for the local community.
“That could mean taking on apprentices, recruiting local people who have been unemployed for a while and supporting them back into the world of work, working with local schools to showcase careers in construction or their staff going out to volunteer in the city.
“It means prioritising using local suppliers to keep money in Salford’s economy. Over half Salford City Council’s spend is now with Salford-based organisations and when you’re buying £230 million worth of goods and services every year that’s a significant boost.”
Councillor Sharmina August, lead member for inclusive economy, anti-poverty and equalities, said one of the key priorities for the council was encouraging payment of the Real Living Wage.
“It’s 10 years this year since Salford became the first local authority in Greater Manchester to be accredited as a Real Living Wage employer and since then we have campaigned to encourage other organisations and businesses to follow suit and become England’s first Living Wage city,” she said.
“Over 50 council suppliers are now accredited – which means they commit not just to paying their direct staff the Real Living Wage rate but also to encouraging their suppliers to do the same. Another 63 are working towards accreditation, an incredible 84 per cent increase on 2020/21.
“It’s the only UK wage rate based on the cost of living and it’s vital for lifting people out of poverty pay and rewarding them fairly.”
Other successes highlighted in the report include increasing the number of apprentices employed by the council and schools to 350, increasing the volume of household waste sent for recycling, reuse or composting by nearly two percent and cutting carbon by 18 per cent thanks to the council’s Climate Change Action Plan.
The report can be read online on our Social Value in Salford page.