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24 May 2013 | Paul Snell
The UK government has recognised the 10 ‘best councils to do business with’.
The initiative, launched in January, aimed to find the local authorities whose procurement and contracting processes best supported SMEs.
The 10 winners, who were invited to a reception in Downing Street, were:
● Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
● Bury Council
● City of London Corporation
● Halton Borough Council
● Harrow Council
● Hertfordshire County Council
● Manchester City Council
● Norfolk County Council
● Sheffield City Council
● Surrey County Council and East Sussex County Council (joint bid)
“[The winners] have done their utmost to support small and medium-sized businesses in their procurement so they can come forward with more confidence in bidding for local government business,” said local government minister Brandon Lewis.
“It’s now time for all councils to act and make sure they cut back on unnecessary red tape, which pushes up costs and makes it harder for small firms to get on.”
David Hodge, leader of Surrey County Council, said in a statement: “Local businesses are the lifeblood of every community, creating jobs and stimulating growth. If they thrive, we all thrive and that is why we have set a goal of making sure 60 per cent of our spending is with Surrey businesses.
“The BuildSurrey website has been an innovative way of helping to achieve this and it has already proved its worth in helping local firms thrive by putting £400,000 into their bank accounts in the first two months since its launch.”