Replacing what was previously 56pp of instructions on ‘best value’, communities minister Eric Pickles today published a new single-sheet guidance paper for central and local government which requires them to deal fairly in their funding decisions and procurement arrangements with voluntary groups, small businesses and residents.
This new guidance broadens the definition of ‘best value’ to include social and environmental value and introduces a ‘duty to consult’.
It also prohibits local authorities from passing on disproportionate funding cuts (i.e. of greater value than they themselves accept) to voluntary organisations and small businesses.
These measures, says Pickles, will enable local authorities to give practical expression to fostering big society objectives while at the same time promoting growth.