GWYNNE: HOW COUNCILS SUPPORT local economic activity

Tameside Town HallDenton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne initiated a short Parliamentary debate today (16th January) outlining the importance of local government procurement in supporting local economic activity; a hugely important way of supporting local businesses through these harsh economic times.

In his speech Andrew outlined that, since the start of the recession, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council has introduced a programme called Tameside Works First to support local companies. Under the programme, specific capital projects were designated to be procured and supplied locally wherever possible.

A total of £151.9 million has been spent by Tameside MBC with external contractors in 2011/12. Of this total figure, £35.3 million (23%) was spent with Tameside based companies and a further £27.6 million was spent via the Council’s investment partner Carillion.

The Council’s spend on Tameside contractors have increased by 43% over the last three years, from £20.1 million in 2009/10. In addition to sums spent with external contractors, £9.5 million was spent in the local economy via Tameside Council’s direct services. So all these combined are very considerable amounts of money to keep in the local economy and support local businesses and jobs.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“I think we would do well to look at the very good work of Tameside Council to see how a local council can actively support its community through some very tough economic times. They have made a real effort to promote local businesses and boost the Tameside economy. ”

“This is in contrast to neighbouring Stockport Council who don’t actually seem to have a specific policy for prioritising local contractors. They recently had a campaign called Stockport Boost that was more of a public relations exercise for the LibDem-controlled council rather than offering real support for businesses to have better access to Stockport Council’s contracts.”

Nationally almost £62 billion pounds a year is spent on local government procurement all across the country and a recent study by the Federation of Small Businesses shows that for every £1 spent within a local economy, 83p is reinvested back into the same local area.

Here is a link to the speech.

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