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“This initiative by Torbay Council is one of the clearest and most impressive examples of serious purpose-driven commissioning.”

Julian Blake, Partner, Stone King

From procurement to partnership toolkit

Torbay Council’s invitation to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector groups to express interest in joining the Torbay Adult Social Care Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Alliance is an exciting development in purpose-aligned partnership.

It follows the successful Plymouth Alliance contract (in-depth case study here) which opened the way for the prospect of a whole system of service, designed around the needs of people, rather than a fragmented market built around the needs of commissioners and services.

Torbay Council has approved transformation funding from its Adult Social Care precept, and the formation of an Alliance to support the delivery of projects using this funding, in support of its Adult Social Care (ASC) Vision and Improvement Plan.

Torbay’s Alliance will seek to develop an asset-based community services model in Torbay, co-designed between the Alliance and the local Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

The Commissioner published a contract notice on Contracts Finder, and the ProContract procurement portal seeking participation in the Alliance. The window for Expressions of Interest was 25/10/2021 10:30 to 08/12/2021. Participation in the tender process was reserved for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations. The agreement will be for six years.

“The Torbay approach is a real step forward,” says Julian Blake, a Partner in Stone King’s Charity & Social Enterprise Team. He continued,

“This initiative by Torbay Council is one of the clearest and most impressive examples of serious purpose-driven commissioning, highlighting how, over decades, dysfunctional, risk-averse process-driven public procurement has restricted public benefit opportunity.

“It combines two progressive, socially-focussed new concepts, introduced by the 2015 Procurement Rules, that until recently have been almost entirely disregarded and unused:

“The concepts are the ‘Innovation Partnership’ which promotes transformation, integration, collaboration and sustained improvement in public services; and ‘Reserved Contracts’ which properly recognise that social enterprises, community co-operatives and charities have a distinctive, core role in public services, precisely because they exist for the public benefit.”

What next?

Tools, Resources and Model Documents

Example documentation, contracts, processes and agreements you can access – or use as a checklist as you progress your partnerships. These practical models and outlines include a set of social value imperatives.

Case studies of purpose-aligned partnerships

Examples of successful public service community partnerships delivering a variety of public services. See them here.

Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions

Plus put your specific queries to our community, made of up public-partnership-success-stories, legal and finance experts, bold commissioners and social enterprise leaders. FAQs AND POST A QUESTION.

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