Council vows to direct more spending to local firms

Hammersmith & Fulham Council is vowing to direct more of its spending on boosting the borough's economy by supporting local firms, jobs and training for residents.

The council currently spends around £306million a year buying in goods and services – but less than £9million of that is with small and medium-sized enterprises in the borough.

“The council is sending the vast majority of its spend outside the borough and that has to change,” says Cllr Ben Coleman, H&F Council’s Small Business Champion. “Local small businesses often provide a better and more tailored service at a competitive price, but they can be overlooked or put off by bureaucratic procurement processes.”

The council’s new task force on social value procurement is looking at how to make it easier for local firms to bid for council contracts and at how to grow the local supplier market.

As a first step, H&F businesses are being urged to register on capitalEsourcing - - which is the electronic tendering system the council uses to advertise all contract opportunities.

The procurement task force is also reviewing how the council’s large contractors – and those organisations with whom the council has local development agreements – could sub-contract more to local businesses.

To kick-start the effort, a council-backed initiative, Supply Cross River, organised a ‘meet the buyers’ event at Olympia on December 1 attended by 19 local firms who pitched for business.

Cllr Coleman added: “We are already seeing results. I am delighted to say that Supply Cross River has just helped two local firms, the waste management company Powerday and the London Window Cleaning Company, to win work from large buyers."