Local firms should win contracts, says Tory

11:00am Wednesday 19th June 2013

ALL external contracts awarded by a council should be given to local firms, according to the authority’s deputy leader.

As Basildon Council is planning to revamp its strategy in handing out contracts for private firms to run its services, the Tory administration’s deputy leader, councillor Phil Turner says he wants all council contractors to be local.

The council will also look to award contracts to local firms even if there is a better offer elsewhere, in a bid to boost the local economy.

The new strategy will be discussed tomorrow at a cabinet meeting and is geared towards making as much use as possible of businesses closer to home.

Mr Turner said: “It would be great if 100 per cent of work was being sourced locally.

“We will absolutely be looking at companies locally first, before widening out our search.

“If we have a business case that says we can create five jobs, if it meant agreeing to a local contract that cost a little bit more than elsewhere, then taxpayers will benefit from that, because they might not be paying out for benefits or housing.

“Within reason, we would do that, but that is not a blank cheque for all companies.”

The council has also held workshops and events to publicise what contracts are up for grabs for local firms.

Turner added under the new strategy, if a local company did not win a contract, he hopes officers would give that firm advice and tips on how to make a stronger case next time.

The council will also look to build on its links with the Federation of Small Businesses to send news of contract opportunities through the post to firms.

The strategy is expected to be approved when the council’s cabinet meets today.

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