The amount spent with small local companies, which employ fewer than 50 people, has risen by £400,000 on the previous year.
Cllr Bob Standley, cabinet member with responsibility for strategic finance said: “Small companies are fundamental to the economy of Wealden.
“We recently revised our corporate procurement strategy to remove some of the red tape, making it easier for small companies to tender for council contracts.
“When seeking quotes for goods and services, the council now has to include a local supplier where there is one, and a supplier it has not used before. It is good to see this approach is helping local firms.
“Good procurement procedure also delivers savings to the public purse. In the past year we have been able to reduce expected council spending by £0.5 million through our well-run, competitive tendering process.
“This has helped us make savings in a number of areas including the provision of leisure facilities, the cost of agency staff, telecare equipment for our retirement living schemes, and ensuring our car parks are kept clear of ice over winter.”
Both small and medium-sized enterprises have been helped by Wealden’s procurement policy.
The Council spent £8.1 million – 39% of what it spent on goods and services last year – with SME companies employing less than 250 people. Government targets encourage local authorities to source at least 25% of their budget with these sized companies.
Wealden District Council spent £20.7 million on externally procured goods, works, and services in the 2015/16 financial year. Just over half of this – £12 million – was spent with companies based in East Sussex.
Wealden also hosts the East Sussex Procurement Hub which provides a shared procurement service to Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council as well as Wealden.
It also includes Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council in collaborative projects. Since it began in 2010, it has saved in the region of £12 million on local authority spending.
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