Council’s proud record on using East Devon suppliers

EDDC buys local and employs small traders as often as possible

When it comes to supporting the local economy, East Devon District Council has a good record of trading with suppliers within the district, a report has revealed.

Figures given to the council’s Procurement and Efficiency Group last week show that in the four most recently completed quarters, up to December 2014, the council spent 56% of its procurement budget with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The lion’s share of the overall spend was with suppliers in the South West (86%), whilst the proportion in East Devon was just under 28%* - more than a quarter. A similar percentage of traders in Exeter were used to supply EDDC in the same period and the remainder were either in Bristol, North Somerset or other parts of South West England. Only 14% of the council’s externally supplied goods and services were provided by businesses elsewhere in the UK.

Investment

Commenting on the achievement, Councillor David Cox, Cabinet Member for Finance and a member of the Procurement and Efficiency Group, said:

One of this council’s key objectives is promoting a vibrant economy and this news shows that we are – quite literally – putting our money where our mouth is.

Spending money with local suppliers is an important investment in the community. Because councils have an obligation to obtain good value for money, this also demonstrates that the local businesses we use are offering very good value.

In recent years, the council has been putting greater emphasis than before on improving its procurement processes and these figures are one of the outcomes of this process. Improvements come through monitoring performance and we can be proud of the evidence that more than a quarter of our purchasing gives work to people in East Devon, whilst more than three-quarters benefits the wider South West region.

Meet the Buyer

Among the initiatives that the district council undertakes to encourage local supplies is taking part in an annual “Meet the Buyer” event where traders can find out what services councils are in the market for and how to go about winning local government contracts. The next event will be held in the autumn of this year.

The district council’s Prompt Payment Code also helps, with the most recent record of settling with suppliers showing a success rate of 99.39% being paid within 30 days. The council is now working towards a stretch target and has achieved 97.60% of suppliers paid within 10 working days under the Prompt Payment Code.

Summing up, Councillor Mark Williamson, Chairman of the Procurement and Efficiency Group, said:

Using local suppliers is a win-win. It’s good for the local economy and employment but also beneficial for the council, which can expect better local knowledge and a shorter, more reliable supply chain from traders who are based nearby. I’m delighted with the progress we have made and we will be focusing on improving the situation still further in the coming year.

*This figure takes into account the local workforce employed by the council’s waste and recycling contractor SITA, (recently re-branded under the parent company’s name of SUEZ), which has its depot at Woodbury Salterton.