Councils told to pool procurement resources

Manchester Town HallBritain’s local authorities have been told by the Government to find more ways to share back office functions and buy goods and services together to gain discounts and reduce costs. In a document, 50 ways to save: examples of sensible savings in local government, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government in December, councils were given a number of ideas about how they could reduce their annual spend. The report can be seen here.

Among the suggestions was one that councils should buy together through local purchasing bodies such as YPO and to make general improvements to their procurement methods. The document also calls on councils to reduce the potential for procurement fraud.
The document was published as Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced to Parliament the budget for local councils in England would be set at £26 billion, representing a 1.7 per cent cut in real terms. In the foreword to the document, he said: “Every bit of the public sector needs to do their bit to pay off the budget deficit inherited from the last administration, including local government which accounts for a quarter of all public spending. Councils should focus on cutting waste and making sensible savings to protect frontline services and keep council tax down.”