Nottingham Council sets out its stall for local firms to win contracts


Nottingham City Council is setting out its stall for local businesses to win contracts from it over the next five years.

The council’s Procurement Strategy for 2018-23 will build on the previous version which saw a £288m boost to the local economy between 2014 and 2017 through the council awarding 567 contracts to local firms.

The new Procurement Strategy, to be launched next month, will ensure fairness and transparency in competition for all providers, as well as levelling the playing field for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to secure social, economic and environmental benefits for Nottingham. Using a number of smaller suppliers also reduces the risks, highlighted by the collapse of Carillion, of awarding contracts to a single large supplier.

City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “At a time when the Council’s budget is under huge pressure from Government cuts, it’s vital that we have an effective strategy to get the best possible value from the contracts we award.

“We also want to ensure that, wherever possible, the Council uses its purchasing power to support the local economy and social benefits by creating more jobs and apprenticeships. In particular, we want to support small and medium size firms which are the lifeblood of the local economy.

“We have more scope to do this than councils which have been outsourcing the provision of services wholesale to a single giant supplier. As the collapse of Carillion has shown, there are huge risks to this approach.”

The new Procurement Strategy will give smaller businesses more opportunities to compete with larger enterprises by breaking down larger contracts for providing goods and services into smaller ones where possible, creating a level playing field for SMEs and a stronger, more diverse market.

Firms will also be encouraged through the strategy to help promote equality by adopting ethical employment practices and offering entry-level job opportunities targeted at disadvantaged communities.

Protecting the environment is another key theme. Where possible, the Council will seek to include appropriate environmental standards and targets in contracts to help improve air quality, mitigate climate change, reduce waste, increase recycling and support nature conservation.