Joint-working to save council cash

PUBLISHED: 06:08 02 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:58 31 May 2010

TAXPAYERS should reap the benefits of a new joint venture between Uttlesford District Council and other authorities. The Essex Procurement Hub will give comprehensive advice and guidance on securing contracts and finding suppliers to UDC and other distric

TAXPAYERS should reap the benefits of a new joint venture between Uttlesford District Council and other authorities.

The Essex Procurement Hub will give comprehensive advice and guidance on securing contracts and finding suppliers to UDC and other district councils including Braintree, Castle Point and Epping Forest.

UDC's chief executive Alasdair Bovaird said: "We're pleased to be part of a pioneering shared service across several councils, which will give us a premium procurement service at a low cost.

"This will enable us to make significant savings by joining up our purchasing power with others."

Many district councils are not large enough to warrant setting up their own individual procurement units and miss out on efficiency savings which could be made through streamlining and buying in to better deals.

Significant savings for all members will be achieved through analysing the expenditure of each district council and identifying areas where working together will drive down costs and increase efficiency.

The hub has got off the ground thanks to a grant of £70,000 from the Regional Centre of Excellence East (RCEE).

Mike Worron, RCEE's regional director said: "The RCEE is proud to support the Essex Procurement Hub. This is demonstrated by the seed funding we are providing to encourage the hub in its formation and expansion.

"We see this type of arrangement as an efficient and sensible path to better procurement for all the councils involved.

"We envisage the project expanding, and contracts used in the hub being used by a wide variety of authorities across the region and beyond.

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