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Manchester: Proof that you can have both style and substance

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Manchester is very cool. The music scene, the fashion, the exposed brick. But more than that – its politicians are cool.

Andy Burnham is one of the few politicians admired on both sides of the fence and I could honestly listen to Bev Craig speak for hours.

You only have to dig into Greater Manchester’s policies on social value to realise that this style is backed up by some serious substance. Public sector procurement across the region weights social value by as much as 20% – certainly the highest I’ve ever seen.

At our social value symposium this week we were privileged to hear from public sector representatives operating across the Greater Manchester region in addition to developers and consultants working hard to deliver projects.

As is often the case, partnership working was cited as key. By joining together with a shared common goal we can be much more effective. But I’d argue that a lot of Greater Manchester’s success has been in the bold leadership at both combined and local authority level.

In Manchester – social value is cool. Here’s hoping it’s a trend that continues to catch on.

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