A new portal on Mansfield District Council’s website to make it easier for local companies and traders to win council contracts went live this week.

It is one of a number of projects planned in the coming year to expand the council’s procurement activities in ways that will boost the local economy.

The council changed its procurement strategy in 2019 to focus on appointing local companies to deliver goods, services and contracts wherever possible.

The council defines local spend as being within Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, with particular focus on the Mansfield District. It covers council goods and services purchased from either the public, voluntary or private sectors.

Figures from Nottingham City Council’s procurement service, which delivers Mansfield District Council’s procurement needs, show the council’s total spend in 2021/22 was £32m. Of that, £12.1m (38%) was local spend, including £4.3m spent in Mansfield District.

The rest of the local spend saw £1.4m going to Ashfield District, £5.4m to Nottinghamshire (excluding Mansfield and Ashfield districts) and £1m going to Derbyshire.

Construction, property development and regeneration spending accounted for more than half (57.7%) of the local spend, totalling £7m.

Cllr Craig Whitby, Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance, said: “We are fully committed to the council’s new procurement objectives and it is great news that we were able to support and serve our local economy.

“We look forward to being able to see these objectives expanded and developed in the coming year.”

In September, members of the Governance and Standards Committee agreed to recommendations in the council’s annual Procurement Activity Report to develop its procurement activities further in 2022/23.

The report detailed four workshops held in partnership with East Midlands Chamber during 2021/22 to help local companies learn how best to win council contracts. They were attended by 210 representatives of local businesses and were well received.

As a follow-on from the workshops, the council committed to providing a portal on its procurement web page to allow local companies to register an interest in doing business with the council within defined categories. This portal went live this week on the council website (link opens in new window).

It allows council officers to quickly identify local companies able to provide goods and services up to a value of £50,000 which is the limit of contracts that usually have to be provided only by local suppliers in line with the council’s procurement policies. Plans are in the pipeline to raise this figure to £100,000 in the coming year.

There will also be Meet the Buyer events in the coming year to proactively promote procurement opportunities, and enhanced analysis of the effectiveness of the council’s procurement policies. This will help to help identify gaps in its provision.

The council also wants to encourage local businesses to explore how they themselves could use their own supply chains to support the local and regional economy.

More information about the council’s procurement strategy and processes can be found on its website (link opens in new window).

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