South Shields Town Hall.

Council's pledge to keep contracts local

Published:  10 August, 2011

SOUTH TYNESIDE: Council regeneration leaders have pledged that borough companies will be given priority for future contracts.

The commitment comes amid concerns that local firms complained about the award of a contract worth £1m to Wolseley UK.

Now proposals have been drawn up to increase the allocation to 40% by 2014, and to 50% by 2016. The policy, called 'Supply South Tyneside', will boost borough firms and potentially offer better deals for the cash-strapped local authority.

Senior cabinet members Ed Malcolm and Michael Clare will outline the new policy when the decision-making committee meets at South Shields Town Hall today.

Members will be told there can be "no guarantee" that work will always go to local firms. A report to the committee said: "There will be real opportunities to increase the amount of spend going into the local economy. However, it must be recognised that local suppliers will not be able to meet all the council's needs and there will inevitably be some spend that cannot be contracted locally.

"Some council spend is with suppliers who are based in neighbouring boroughs, and we must be mindful of the positive impact this has for South Tyneside as companies based in near proximity of the borough may employ residents in South Tyneside.

"While every effort will be made to match business opportunities locally, we cannot guarantee contracts to local businesses."

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