08 April 2009
Suppliers are being told to gear up for new opportunities resulting from the biggest shake-up in local government for 30 years.
Local government minister John Healey told SM replacing 44 district and county councils with nine supersized authorities from this month would mean benefits through bigger buying power and more innovation.
"This is an opportunity for forward-thinking suppliers to step into the frame - not only to help councils save money in tough times through economies of scale, but also to help them develop more innovative services and change with the times - such as providing green alternatives."
Healey said the new unitary councils would buy across a larger area, be given wider responsibilities and bigger budgets and contracts.
The move stripped out a layer of local government and was calculated to save £100 million a year, after transitional costs, by cutting duplication.
Some examples of cost-cutting included Cornwall saving £1 million from renegotiating its insurance contract and County Durham getting a better deal by moving to a single county-wide recycling service.