Medway means business

Medway Council is improving the way it buys in goods and services, which will help the local economy and help provide jobs.

The council is cutting red tape and will even bring in new rules meaning companies that secure the largest contracts must employ local apprentices.

These new measures follow the formal adoption by Medway’s Cabinet of a fresh approach to how the council’s £230million worth of services are secured from outside companies.

The new approach – laid out in the authority’s three-year Procurement Strategy – has been agreed following extensive talks with Medway-based businesses throughout the summer.

And this consultation will continue as the new approach gets under way to ensure the council continues working closely with local firms.

In short, Medway Council aims to boost the area’s £2.8 billion local economy by creating more jobs, especially apprenticeships, achieving greater value for money, cutting bureaucracy, and encouraging innovation by local companies.

In addition, contracts worth more than £1million will be expected to include at least one apprentice.

The success of this will partly depend on better management of the supply chain, as the council wants to build on its established good relationships with Medway-based companies.

More than 100 Medway business people gave their views at a special event held at the Corn Exchange in July.

The approach has also been shared with the Federation for Small Businesses, Kent Chambers of Commerce and the Kent Business School.

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “We want Medway Council to be the best public sector organisation for local companies to do business with.

“As a result, our new approach will benefit residents, who will get better services. It will also give the local economy and businesses a much-needed boost.

“We are aiming to work very closely with our suppliers, and we want to ensure there is fair competition among local companies who we talk to.

“We have also given a commitment to report back to businesses in six months, to tell them what progress we are making.”

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