Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Council wants to see more local businesses winning contracts

THURROCK Council pours millions of pounds into the borough’s economy – but wants to find ways of increasing that figure still further.

On Wednesday (10 April) the council’s cabinet said its new procurement strategy should be discussed by two local organisations and overview and scrutiny before being agreed.

Members asked that it go to the Thurrock Business Board and Thurrock Council for Voluntary Services as well as overview and scrutiny before coming back.

A report to cabinet said: “The council spends nearly £170m each year with third-party organisations … the range of goods and services we acquire each year exceeds that of most public and private organisations and it is provided by over 5,000 companies ranging from large corporations to sole traders.”

Speaking afterwards Cllr Phil Smith, cabinet member for central services, said: “We have the dual aims of helping local businesses and ensuring local people receive value for money.

“Sometimes that leads to hard choices – if a local firm can provide the service, but at an increased cost, which should we choose?

“I would like to see more Thurrock businesses winning the contracts this will keep money circulating in our borough – it will give jobs to local people and it will help other local businesses.”

Thurrock Council will be asking the Thurrock Business Board, the Thurrock Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) and the corporate overview and scrutiny committee to examine the proposal and make their comments known.

Cllr Smith asked that local business “engage with the consultation process and let these three organisations know how we could help”.

He said: “There are many ways that this could be achieved and we want to hear as many ideas as possible – for example we could specify a minimum local content, or insist, for large contracts, that a percentage of apprenticeships must be offered locally.”

Cllr Smith added: “Local businesses have often said Thurrock Council does not help them, I think that here we show how we have listened and how we want to hear from them.

“Working together we can make Thurrock better for all residents.”


  1. Does anyone have any stats that show how many contracts were awarded to outside contractors and local contractors. How do local contractors stand a chance when Thurrock Council award these contracts to these big corporate companies like Morrison, Mears, Mullalley, Europa & Wates?


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