24 August 2009 | Allie Anderson
A body has been set up to help councils improve the way they buy major products and services.
The Local Government Association (LGA) and treasury agency Partnerships UK have established the organisation, called 'Local Partnerships'.
It will advise councils and other public sector bodies on sourcing and delivering projects in nine key areas, including housing, transportation, regeneration and waste management.
The new body incorporates 4ps (the public private partnerships programme), which has worked with Partnerships UK on waste infrastructure delivery and the Building Schools for the Future programme.
One of the priorities for the new group is to promote 'procurement packs', which contain tools to help local authorities purchase private finance initiative or public private partnership-funded services as smoothly and quickly as possible and within best practice guidelines.
The packs cover every stage of the procurement process, from identifying the need for change through tender to contract completion.
Councillor Edward Lord, chairman of Local Partnerships, said in a statement: "Local Partnerships will provide trusted, professional support to local public bodies to improve their ability to source and deliver high-quality, cost-effective public services and infrastructure.
"This new company will be a dynamic partner for public authorities delivering improved services in local communities."
Councillor Margaret Eaton, (pictured) chair of the LGA, added: "Local public bodies are working with limited resources and Local Partnerships will work closely with them to ensure the delivery of first-class services."