Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) is asking Thurrock council to tell them how much of their spending is with local companies.
Essex FSB Business Support Spokesman, David Miles, said: “The pressure is on local councils to deliver services at lower costs with the coalition Government requiring cuts of up to 40 per cent but providing the right service for local residents means looking at more than just the cost of that service.
“In 2008 Essex FSB conducted a survey asking councils how much of their revenue budget was spent with (a) businesses based within the council boundary and (b) businesses in the Essex postcode areas.
“The results were extremely interesting. Topping the table for local spending was Tendring District Council which spent 48.5 per cent of its revenue budget (some £12.8 million) with firms in the District while at the other extreme Brentwood Borough Council was spending just 11 per cent (£1.8 million)
“Widening the survey to Essex postcodes saw Havering London Borough Council leading the way with a massive 78.5 per cent of its revenue budget (£79.5 million) and Thurrock with nearly 60% while Colchester Borough Council spent the least at 15 per cent of its budget (£8.7 million).
“Even the lower amounts are significant sums being spent with local firms giving a good boost to the local economy.
“This week Essex FSB has sent a similar survey to all councils in Essex, Havering and Redbridge asking the same questions so we can see what changes have taken place during the last two years and also set a baseline so we can see what impact the cuts will have on the amount of money spent by councils with local firms.
“We are looking forward to receiving the results over the next few weeks and will be aiming to publish the results in the early autumn.”
More details of the 2008 survey results can be found at www.fsb.org.uk/essex/public-procurement/surveys