Legal & General Homes is working with the Social Value Portal to develop the UK’s first Community Social Value Charter for Crowthorne, in Berkshire.
What is Social Value
Social Value is the term used to describe the broader societal benefits a project creates when it is built and through its lifetime. It is about ensuring that long-term, sustainable benefits are created for communities.
Delivering social value is about adding more value to the local economy, improving the well-being of the community whilst protecting our environment.
It is not about “business as usual”, or about doing the things that any responsible contractor would do. It is about businesses using their economic capacity to make a significant incremental contribution to society in general and to local communities.
Legal & General Homes approach to Social Value
Creating Social Value is central to everything Legal & General Homes does now and in the future within the places where it is working.
Communities sit at the heart of Legal & General Homes’ Social Value strategy: the new communities that we are creating working alongside the communities that already exist.
Physically – through construction activity, new transport links or infrastructure as well as the housing development itself
Economically – through the creation of new jobs for residents, opportunities for local companies and support for local businesses to grow and prosper
Environmentally – through the creation of new open space, improvement of air quality, new amenities; and
Socially – through the impact of new people moving into the area, the impact on community cohesion, the impact on education and direct support for the most vulnerable
We work with existing communities to ensure that we deliver benefits for them and create more resilient and sustainable places. We monitor and measure the social value delivered through our activities, and continuously try to increase the value that we create.
We select contractors, suppliers and other partners based on their ability to deliver on-price, on-time and with a minimum disruption to local residents, but also on their capacity and experience to work with and provide support to the local communities.
Working with Communities
Legal & General Homes believes that the key to delivering real benefits is not only through effective engagement with local communities, but that this must be done on a genuinely collaborative basis. This is why Legal & General Homes is working with the Social Value Portal to develop the UK’s first Community Social Value Charter for Crowthorne, in Berkshire.
The Crowthorne Community Charter provides a focus around which everyone who lives and works in Crowthorne has the chance to identify the local needs, priorities and opportunities for the area. In this way citizens and community groups have their voice heard and can take responsibility for co-designing and co-delivering specific solutions.
At Crowthorne, consultation was conducted through a public survey and through focus groups that represent specific ‘social nodes’ such as the local schools, faith groups and health centres. The consultation has been structured around 4 core themes and the community has been asked to prioritise proposed interventions from a list, as well as being given an opportunity to let us know whatever they think will make the biggest difference.
The Community Charter also helps local businesses that want to get involved in adding value by informing their initiatives and directing them towards what is really needed and local authorities can use it to enable better, more inclusive decision making.