The new Public Services (Social Value) Act was passed last week. When letting a contract, the public sector will have to take into account not just value for money (cost and quality) but also social, environmental and economic aspects.
This new law should certainly help social enterprises win much more council and government contracts as they are set up to re-invest profits into creating social improvements.
However, it should not necessarily exclude private companies that also show commitment to social value. For example, if their tender includes a plan to invest in supporting residents in the local community when bidding for a social housing contract.
It will be interesting to see how quickly and effectively councils and other public bodies react to this.
UPDATE: see Answering Social Value Tender Questions for tips when responding to tenders.