The council updated its internal procurement rules to maximise the opportunity for local suppliers to win council business and, in turn, support local economic regeneration. The main change was introducing financial thresholds for the minimum number of local businesses contacted for quotes.
The policy does not guarantee that local businesses will secure council contracts – they all still have to demonstrate that they are competitive on both cost and quality.
However, new figures show that since the introduction of ‘Supply South Tyneside’, the amount the council spends with local businesses has increased by a staggering 21 per cent. In 2018/19, the council paid more than £207.5 million for goods and services, of which almost £115 million (55 per cent) was spent locally.
As a council, we are committed to doing everything we can to stimulate the local economy. We spend a significant amount of money on commissioned supplies, services and works provided by external organisations. They help us to deliver essential services from social care to housing repair.
We must ensure that not only do we get value for money for our council tax payers but that the money we spend reaps an economic benefit to our communities.
The ‘Supply South Tyneside’ scheme demonstrates our total commitment to the ongoing economic prosperity of the borough. It represents positive and direct action to ensure that buying local is not just common sense but makes really good business sense.
The whole idea is to spend more council money locally and to allow as many local firms as possible to compete for contracts to supply goods and services.
In uncertain economic times, it is even more important that we do everything we can to help our local businesses thrive.