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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
Barnet London Borough Council
● Brent Council
● Ealing Council
The London Borough of Hounslow
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
● The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Westminster City Council