As local sourcing where appropriate is central to relocalising and strengthening regional economies, many will welcome news of a pledge made by Doncaster’s Mayor Ros Jones to ‘buy local’.
Business Desk reports that when Ros Jones became Mayor in 2013, the council spent more money with firms located outside of borough, but now the vast majority of work goes to local firms, supporting the local economy and helping to stimulate jobs and growth.
Mayor Jones said: “I was determined Doncaster firms could bid for suitable contracts and by understanding what is involved in the procurement process have every opportunity to win work. We have put on workshops, organised events and provided support for business owners so they understand the rules, can find available contracts and know how to prepare their tender bids. This work is certainly paying off with amount of work being won by local firms increasing by a staggering 34% in the last four years”.
Doncaster Council’s procurement team has trained about 130 businesses on how to do business with the public sector and procurement rules have been changed to include local suppliers.
Working with the Business Doncaster team, supplier engagement events have enabled firms to meet public sector buyers, while other public sector agencies in Doncaster have also been encouraged to ‘buy local’.
Dan Fell, the innovative chief executive of Doncaster Chamber, added: “Doncaster Chamber believes that it is important for local organisations in the public and private sectors to do business with each other to generate new supply chains and keep work local where possible. For many years the Chamber has encouraged partners to ‘Buy Doncaster’ and, as such, is delighted that Doncaster Council has such a high percentage of its good and services locally.”
Because of Mayor Ros Jones’ pledge to ‘buy local’ – and despite reduced council budgets – the amount of work awarded to firms in the borough increased by over £27m since 2013/14 and now represents 68% of all council spend. In 2016/17, Doncaster based companies are projected to win over £108m of council work.
Endnote: see news of the Birmingham Pound which encourages sourcing of local goods and services: https://brumpound.wordpress.com/