Centralised contracts undermine local merchants

Published:  03 November, 2010

BOREHAMWOOD: John Urwin, who runs small family firm LPA Plumbing & Heating Supplies in Leeming Road, has spoken out against centralised contracts that see building material supply in the hands of large companies.

LPA was a supplier to Community Building Services in Elstree Way, the building and maintenance arm of Affinity Sutton, one of the biggest providers of affordable housing in the country until Travis Perkins was awarded the contract to supply materials.

"We've been supplying Community Building Services for ten years. Then suddenly they pulled the plug on local traders. We got no warning," said Urwin. He said that trading had wound down in the last nine months, leading him to lay off two members of staff.

Peter Gray, business development manager at CBS said: "As CBS has moved from a regional to a national contractor we have reviewed our suppliers to provide consistent services to our residents across the country.

"CBS notified local merchants of the change to phase out previous supply arrangements over the last two years," he said.

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