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17 June 2013 | Adam Leach
Better procurement at Surrey County Council has enabled the local authority to cut costs by £27 million over the past financial year.
The bulk of the savings, equivalent to £13,000 an hour, were delivered in the construction and infrastructure and adult social care categories, saving the taxpayer £7.5 million and £9.6 million respectively. A further £5.5 million was delivered by children, schools and families, while corporate services costs were cut by £4.5 million.
Denise Le Gal, the authority’s cabinet member for business services, said: “We’re determined to get the best possible deal for Surrey’s taxpayers and saving £27 million in a year at a rate of almost £13,000 an hour by striking better deals bears testament to that.”
The addition of the latest tranche of savings brings the total amount saved over the past three years to £83 million. For the current financial year it has set a target of delivering a further £30 million.
A key enabler of the savings has been the council’s collaborative procurement with both Hampshire County Council and, in particular, East Sussex County Council. Last year, the two authorities combined resources and created the Surrey & East Sussex Procurement Partnership to pursue savings opportunities. Both used a large number of the same suppliers for services.
As reported by SM, last month Surrey and East Sussex were recognised jointly by the UK government in the top 10 ‘best councils to do business with'. And last year, Surrey picked up two gongs at the CIPS Supply Management Awards, one for the ‘Best people development initiative' and another for the ‘Best public procurement project'.