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Gwynedd Council sourcing more goods and contracts from local companies

More Gwynedd Council goods and contracts are being sourced from local companies within the county, a new report has revealed.

Having launched a project designed to spend as much with local firms as possible, a report presented to the Audit Committee noted that the authority had also been more stringent in insisting on local staff when offering work to private firms.

“Keeping the Benefit Local” was launched after concerns were rasied by the cabinet, also leading to the procurement unit making efforts to cut tenders into smaller lots in order to give companies every opportunity to compete for a portion of the contract.

The report found that while £56m was spent on goods and contracts within Gwynedd during 2017/18, it had increased 39% to £78m by 2020/2021.

But while bound by national procurement restrictions designed to offer the best value for money, it went on to note that a new scoring system was now basing more emphasis on a company’s local credentials.

“Using the social benefit clause will mean that local companies will have new opportunities to demonstrate their contribution to the local economy if they are awarded a contract by the Council,” it noted.

“The pilot referred to above has now reached a stage where the first contract has been offered to a supplier using the new methodology. In this case the value of the contract was calculated as £181k, but the social benefit to Gwynedd was calculated as being £105k.

“As a result, the winning company have committed to employ three officers who live in Gwynedd, conduct four training sessions for social care students, provide 4 weeks of work experience for two students, offer 20 hours’ worth of voluntary time to support local charities, and they have committed to 2.5 hours a week to further develop the workforce’s Welsh language skills.

“Without a doubt, had the Council not included the Social Benefit clause in the tender, these benefits would not have been available to Gwynedd.”

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