Councils being charged 'shocking' markup on IT products


Councils are paying almost four times the recommended mark-up on technology products, new analysis has revealed.

Going the extra mile


Paul Doe explains how local authorities can deliver value to citizens beyond connectivity.

Nottingham Council to supply its own water


Nottingham City Council is set to become the first council to run its own water services in-house, saving an estimated £64,000 a year.

FORS: supply chain compliance to ensure efficiency


Rajinder Sharma explains how the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme helps local authorities to drive up best practice and strengthen its supply chain.

Setting the standard


Terry Coyle explains why it makes sense to work with a company that has its management system and auditor competency processes approved by UKAS.

Council backs campaign for procurement reform


Oxford City Council has become the first authority to back a fair tax campaign.

Kier to cut 1,200 jobs and ditch housing division


Kier Group is to cut around 1,200 jobs and make savings of £55m over the next two years, amid a planned sell-off of many of its commercial interests.

Amazon awarded £460m in public sector contracts since 2015


A contract awarded to Amazon by a local government purchasing organisation is the biggest in the UK public sector, according to new research.

Councils urged to record data on procurement of single-use plastic bottles


A third of councils are failing to record how many single-use plastic bottles they have procured over the last five years, according to new research.

Councils exposed following Kier profit warning


Local authorities are heavily exposed to struggling construction giant Kier which faced a huge fall in its share price this week, according to the latest figures.

Reframing the apprenticeship levy deadline for spending


Lizzy Grayson discusses how the apprenticeship levy has changed post-deadline for spending .

Unchaining social value


A new report reveals some councils are building social value into their procurement – but that senior council decision makers must take more interest in securing broader benefits when commissioning services.

Top panel formed to study local impact of Social Value Act


Localis has launched a research project asking if the Government is providing social, economic and environmental benefits through public procurement.

Coming to terms with late payments


Neil Washington explains how the public sector can strengthen SMEs by ensuring their contractors operate fair payment terms.

A £3m fund launched to improve infrastructure procurement


A £3m fund has been made available for pilot projects that explore new approaches to procurement in housing and council-led infrastructure construction.

UniCORN Framework


Why BT UniCORN Framework – Join the partnership to cut costs and create opportunities.

Double the number of providers handing back care contracts to councils


The number of social care providers handing back contracts to councils has more than doubled in 2018, new research has revealed.

Local government outsourcing fell by more than £80m in 2018


The total value of outsourcing contracts agreed by councils in 2018 fell by more than £80m in 2018, according to the Arvato UK Outsourcing Index.

London ICT Framework


There are hundreds of frameworks to choose from, helping your organisation to procure anything from office supplies to cloud services. But if you’re based in the capital, you might want to consider the BT London ICT Framework.

Union warns outsourcing 'rockets' after Carillion collapse


Councils are still awarding outsourcing contracts to companies that have recently issued profit warnings, new research has revealed.

Local government buying: the smart way forward


Mark Whitehead looks at how 'best value' is overtaking 'best price' when it comes to local government procurement.

The top ten things for local government to be aware of in 2019


2019 looks set to be a year of interesting challenges and opportunities for local government. Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy offer their predictions for the year ahead.

Exclusive: Councils increase number of deals with SMEs and social enterprises


Councils are increasingly forging deals with smaller companies rather than big outsourcing contractors, according to the latest figures.

Social value revolution


Andy Preston explores how local government procurement has changed this year and how councils can meet updated procurement policy.

Allied Healthcare to sell off all council contracts within three weeks


Local authorities have three weeks to find alternative providers for thousands of elderly and vulnerable people after a major care services company pulled out of the market.

Care provider winds up its local authority contracts


A major care services provider is winding up all its contracts with local authorities after regulators warned it was about to go bust.

Technology deal to transform care services, say analysts


A huge procurement deal to promote the latest technology is being hailed as a way to transform the delivery of social services and bring their spiralling costs under control.

Fair payment champions


Victoria Brambini explains how local authorities can empower their supply chains through fair payment.

Virgin Care awarded contract to deliver Lancashire health services


Virgin Care has been identified as the preferred bidder for the delivery of 0-19 public health services in Lancashire after a legal challenge forced a reevaluation of the bid.

Procurement problems


The latest Highways/FiTZ INDEX survey has revealed deep concerns within the highways sector about the nature of procurement. Dominic Browne reports on the findings.

Councils have 'dangerous dependence' on a handful of suppliers


Councils are concentrating more than half their total spend with their top five suppliers, new research has revealed.

Council agrees to re-evaluate health service procurement process


Lancashire County Council has agreed to re-evaluate its tendering process for public health services after a court ordered the council to set aside its agreement with Virgin Care.

Councils urged to protect SMEs in their supply chains


Local authorities have been urged to protect supply chain retention monies belonging to small and medium enterprises in their supply chains.

DPS – A flexible way to procure


Paul Smith urges councils to consider Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPSs) as a pioneering approach to procurement and outlines the five top reasons for considering the use of a DPS.

Innovation: time to match words with action


Stephen Smith calls on local authorities to challenge businesses to innovate, rather than buying products based purely on cost and availability.

Managing utilities in-house


Tiffany Cloynes looks at some of the key areas for local authorities to consider before becoming involved in the provision of utility services.

Councils save over £800m by sharing services


Councils have saved £840m through shared service arrangements, new research has revealed today.

Government pledges to 'rebuild trust' in outsourcing after Carillion


The Government has announced a package of measures aimed at rebuilding trust after the collapse of outsourcing construction company Carillion earlier this year.

Blackpool first council to be awarded self-supply water licence


Blackpool Council has been granted a self-supply licence to manage and monitor its own water usage across its 120 sites.

Councils double number of fire safety tenders in wake of Grenfell


The number of councils tendering for fire safety work has shot up in the year since the Grenfell disaster, according to the latest figures.

Councils must do more to protect workers’ rights globally, union says


A public sector union has criticised local authorities for ‘not doing enough’ to protect workers’ rights globally.

Homes England to launch £150m procurement framework


Homes England will launch the procurement of a new framework this month which will provide councils with access to a broader range of services to help the delivery of new homes.

Councils should give ALEOs ‘careful consideration’ before use, watchdog warns


The local authority spending watchdog in Scotland has acknowledged the benefits of arms-length external organisations (ALEOs) but warned they require ‘careful consideration’ before adoption.

Leading the charge


Paul Heath explains how Scotland could encourage collaborative IT purchasing in local government.

Cheshire councillor investigating misconduct suspended


The Cheshire East Council councillor investigating two senior officers over concerns about the way contracts were awarded has been asked to ‘step down’.

The end of public-private partnerships?


Rather than abandoning all public-private partnerships in the wake of Carillion's collapse, Richard Tinham urges councils to explore other partnership models.

Council criticised for procurement ‘maladministration’


A council in Northern Ireland has been criticised for ‘maladministration’ in its procurement of stewarding services.

Brexit and public procurement - a lost opportunity


Andrew Millross explains how just small changes to the EU's current procurement directives could make a huge difference to the way local authorities assess contractors before signing public contracts with them.

Purchasing professional services


Rob Levene explains how local authorities are reaping the benefits of an alternative approach to buying professional services.

Councillors pledge to eradicate modern slavery from their supply chains


Labour and Co-operative councillors have pledged to ensure none of the money they spend on procuring goods and services inadvertently ends up supporting exploitation or trafficking.

Managing local authority contracts


Tiffany Cloynes outlines the key issues councils should address to get the most out of their outsourced contracts.

List reveals top 15 suppliers to local government in 2017


A new ranking of local government suppliers has revealed over half of the top 15 regular suppliers were construction firms.

Manchester CC ‘dramatically’ increases spend in local economy


Manchester City Council has increased the amount it spends in the city’s economy by around 20% in the last 10 years, new figures reveal.

The PFI model


The Carillion debacle: more procurement expertise required

Procurement considerations following on from Carillion's liquidation


Why are many local authorities being left with ineffective checks on the financial position of contractors? Richard Brooks explains.

Blackpool set to become first council to manage its own water supply


Blackpool Council has applied to Ofwat for a water and sewerage licence, making it the first local authority to move towards managing its own water supply.

The key to sustainable contracting


Angelica Hymers outlines her top tips on how public bodies can avoid granting contracts to potentially unstable contractors.

SEND/HNL provision in FE colleges: are we paying too much?


Ray Hart asks whether local authorities are paying too much for SEND and HNL provision in Further Education, and shares his advice on how to tackle overcharging.

Carillion collapse: What next for public services?


Jos Creese argues it may be time to reassess the boundaries and expectations for public/private partnerships in the wake of the demise of Carillion.

Some councils paying ‘excessive’ costs for paper, research reveals


Some councils are paying up to seven times more for paper than other authorities, an investigation by the MP for South Thanet has revealed.

Councils could face up to £1bn in late payment penalties, report warns


Councils could face up to £1bn in late payment penalties, according to new report into local government payment practices.

Councils should not take on 'large procurement projects'


Former convenor of Edinburgh council’s transport committee has said councils should not take on large public procurement projects like the city’s tram network.

Procurement framework launches with £1bn pipeline of public sector projects


The Scape National Construction framework has nearly £1bn of public sector projects in the pipeline since its launch six months ago.

Public procurement in Wales needs ‘improvement’, auditors say


There is ‘clear scope for improvement’ in procurement arrangements at the local level in Wales, auditors find.

Procurement is key to creating local wealth argues report


Public procurement focused on local spending is key to creating wealth in communities after Brexit, according to a new report.

'Unscrupulous suppliers' overcharging councils on IT products


Councils are being charged an excessive markup on IT products as suppliers use the confusion caused by Brexit to increase their prices, a new study has revealed.

Councils warned not to contract out safety of new buildings


Local authorities have been warned they must not ‘contract out’ the safety of new public buildings in a new report from MSPs.

County increases local spend by £22m in past year


Nottinghamshire County Council spent an extra £22m with local businesses last year, in a bid to boost the local economy and protect local jobs.

Procurement system 'stacked' against small firms, report warns


A ‘stacked’ procurement system is preventing smaller firms from securing contracts with local authorities, pressure group says.

New estate framework set to save public sector £35m


Councils are set to save millions on estate management due to the launch of a new procurement framework.

Figures show decline in prompt payment by public sector


The number of public sector bodies failing to pay engineering services firms within 30 days has increased in the second quarter of this year, new research has shown.

Council chiefs call for ‘light touch’ procurement rules post-Brexit


Council chiefs have called on the Government to ‘simplify’ the current rules on how councils buy goods and services once the UK has exited the European Union.

Council ends contract with 'litter police' company


A council has ended its environmental services contract with Kingdom Security, the company which was found to have offered bonuses to its officers for issuing fines.

Public procurement reform could boost local economies by £14bn, says report


Up to £14bn could be invested in local economies if the Government reformed public procurement rules, new research has argued today.

Late council payments to SMEs worth millions ‘major issue’, report warns


A new study has revealed that over 40% of top tier local government sourcing comes from SMEs, but late payment by councils is ‘frequently a major issue’.

Councils to save more than £6m a year through new auditing contracts


Councils are set to save millions after the launch of a new national body which has secured lower-cost contracts for auditing services.

Liverpool chief executive to 'step aside' after arrest


Liverpool CC chief executive Ged Fitzgerald will 'voluntarily step aside' after he was arrested as part of investigation into alleged financial irregularities.

Liverpool council chief arrested over alleged financial irregularities probe


Four men including Liverpool City Council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged financial irregularities in the tendering of council contracts to BT.

Councils making ‘glacial’ progress in improving payment times


The amount of time it takes councils to pay suppliers has only fallen by one day since 2009, according to new research.

Scottish councils only spending a fifth of procurement budget on local SMEs


Campaigners have called on Scottish councils to spend more on local businesses as study reveals less than a fifth of their procurement budget goes on SMEs.

Are councils paying promptly?


Paul Reeve explains why a recent FOI request reveals councils are still not acting on supply chain payment.

Tackling modern slavery with supply chain transparency


A new public database is committed to ending modern slavery by making supply chains more transparent. William Eichler finds out more.

New highways ironwork standard takes effect


Barry Turner warns that many councils are still unaware of the new change in the standard for manhole covers and gully grates.

Majority of councils join national auditing scheme


Nearly all (98%) of local authorities have decided to join the new national scheme, which will negotiate auditors’ contracts on their behalf.

Manchester Council playing ‘pioneering role’ in progressive procurement


Manchester City Council is playing a ‘pioneering role’ in reinvesting spend back into the local economy with its progressive procurement policies, report says.

Dorset implements cloud-based platform for environmental health services


Dorset councils have carried out a shared procurement exercise for an environmental health system that they argue will improve customer service.

Councils banned from 'unnecessary' boycotts


Councils will no longer be able to boycott countries or companies unless restrictions have already been put in place by the Government under new rules published today.

Value of council contracts falls in wake of Brexit


The value of contract awards in local government fell following the Brexit vote – despite an overall increase of 5% across the public sector as a whole, new figures have revealed.

Over 200 authorities join national auditing scheme


More than 200 authorities have opted to join a national scheme, which will negotiate auditors’ contracts on their behalf.

Taking charge of vendor relationships


Peter Dunn explains why the time is right for councils to review their long-standing relationships with IT vendors.

Devolution: what’s in store for local authorities in 2017?


Will 2017 bring the same radical changes to local government we saw last year? Andrew Jepp investigates.

Corbyn reveals plans to stop council contracts going to tax havens


Councils should only be allowed to award contracts worth more than £250,000 to UK-registered companies, under plans announced by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Six out of 10 councils failing to pay suppliers on time


The Government should impose penalties on councils that fail to pay their suppliers on time, according to the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA).

'Phased return' of powers to Tower Hamlets


Tower Hamlets LBC is to gain back control of certain powers as part of a 'phased return' by Sajid Javid.

Getting to grips with social value


Just why are councils still struggling to embed the Social Value Act into projects? Laura Sharman speaks to Lindsay Smith from Morgan Sindall to look at some of the opportunities and challenges presented by the Act.

Cardiff Christmas tree plans come up short


Plans for a Christmas in Cardiff have come up short when the council ordered a tree in the wrong size due to a misunderstanding over measurements.

Survey reveals 70% of councils using Social Value Act to meet challenges


Seven out of ten councils are using the Social Value Act when commissioning or procuring services, according to the results of our local government survey.

Managing outsourcing risks


While outsourcing may deliver genuine service transformation for councils, it also carries significant risks if it goes wrong. Paul Tombs outlines how councils can best plan for scenarios in which the provider fails to deliver on their contracts.

Welsh councils spend £100m on Government credit card


Welsh local authorities have spent nearly £100m using Government procurement cards in the last five years - including spending thousands on Xbox games, Facebook and Twitter - according to a campaign group.

How are councils using the Social Value Act?


Take part in our reader survey exploring how local authorities are using the Social Value Act when procuring and commissioning services.

Highways jobs

Air Quality Monitoring Project Manager

Birmingham City Council
£34,788 - £42,683
Seeking a skilled and dedicated individual with a background in environmental protection and air quality to... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Service Manager

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£45,591 - £47,334
As an experienced Social Work manager you will have a proven track record in managing employees, budgets and performance. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transportation Engineer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£29,636 - £33,799 per annum
Applicants should hold an appropriate qualification, preferably to degree level, and have knowledge of transportation issues. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Residential Assistant - Bridgemarsh

Essex County Council
£17675 - £20200 per annum
This is a permanent part time role for 22.5 hours a week. Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the U England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Team Manager - Assessment & Intervention - 3 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£42,683 - £44,632
Looking for exceptional Team Managers with a proven track record in managing both practitioners and case related performance. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

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