At Cumbria County Council we have developed our procurement (buying) processes so that they benefit community and voluntary, community and charity organisations (the third sector).
Social Clauses are requirements which mean that a contract must provide a particular added value to society. In other words organisations that have contracts with the county council which include social clauses should put something back into the community, maybe through recruiting and training volunteers or by investing in community services and facilities.
Figures collected four years ago showed us that the County Council was spending more than £23 million with the sector and we know that this figure has has increased since then and will continue to do so.
For example, contracts totaling £18 million for delivering children's centres in the county were placed with voluntary and community organisations in 2008.