Collaborative hub to save west London councils £15.7 million by 2015

14 March 2012

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14 March 2012 | Angeline Albert

A group of nine councils in west London expect to save £15.7 million by 2015 through joint purchasing of goods and services with the establishment of a procurement hub.

The hub has been set up to deliver savings through the joint commissioning and tendering of services such as parking enforcement, grounds maintenance, waste collection and temporary agency staff. It is also planning to conduct negotiations with five major common suppliers.

The local authorities involved have a collective third-party spend of about £2.3 billion a year and will appoint two senior category managers and a head of collaborative procurement to lead the hub and report to the newly-created West London Procurement Board (WLPB). The board, which includes leading councillors and executive directors of council services, will get an overview of all major purchasing activity by the local authorities.

The hub is a project started by the West London Alliance (WLA), a partnership between six west London councils to improve public services.

Ian Nichols, director of the WLA, said: “This is the initial programme, we expect other opportunities to be identified as the work of the board and hub is developed. Not all councils will be involved in each of them. It depends on their current contracting position.”

When asked why the authorities didn’t focus on the collaborative efforts of the London-wide local authority consortium known as the London Procurement Strategy Board (LPSB), Nicholls told SM: “We are clear that we want to work closely with the LPSB and support its activities. Where it is setting up arrangements, frameworks, etc which would offer west London councils advantages then the board would look to taking advantage of them. However, the LPSB recognises that there are benefits in sub-regional collaboration, particularly where there is a strong element of place or locality to services.”

Two members of the WLPB currently sit on the LPSB to ensure it maintains close links with it.

The councils collaborating on the hub project are:

     Barnet London Borough Council

     Brent Council

     Ealing Council

     Harrow Council

     Hillingdon Council

     The London Borough of Hounslow

     The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

      The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

     Westminster City Council


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