North Somerset Council – economic update

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Business in North SomersetIn its exclusive column for the Weston & North Somerset Echo, North Somerset Council’s Economic Development Team discuss the process for trading with the local authority.

North Somerset Council spends more than £118m of public funds each year on goods and services-  so achieving value for money is essential.

Purchasing clout

This makes the council one of the largest purchasers in the south west and as a local authority it has a legal duty to be fair, honest and professional in its choice and treatment of suppliers.

The council also promotes ethical, environmentally sound and non-discriminatory approaches which are to the benefit of the North Somerset area and those who live and work here. It is keen to support local businesses and promote collaborative working where it is appropriate.

Opportunities for suppliers

The wide ranging nature of businesses in the area means that there are opportunities for suppliers from diverse industry sectors. The council aims to inform suppliers about these opportunities and support them to compete.

Advertising of planned purchases

The council does not have an approved supplier list. For planned purchases over £50,000 it will always advertise its requirements in one, or all of the following three ways:

• Through the regional contract opportunity website: www.supplyingthesouthwest.org.uk

This is a free to join service that, if registered, automatically contacts you when a planned purchase is posted that’s relevant to your business. The Council is increasingly using this website to advertise lower value opportunities so it is recommended you register.

• Local Publications (for example, Bristol Evening Post, Weston Mercury)

• Trade Journals (for example Construction Journal, Professional Social Work Magazine, Landscape magazine)

The procurement process

The complexity of the procurement process is dependent on the value of the opportunity.

For low value opportunities, under £1,000, a single quotation will be required.

For opportunities from £1,000 to £9,999, two written quotations are required.

From £10,000 to £49,999, three quotations will be required and above £50,000 the council follows a formal tendering procedure.

When the total estimated cost of the requirement is in excess of the European Union Public Procurement thresholds, which for goods and services is £173,000, the relevant EU rules on public procurement will be followed. More details can be found on: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/business.

Key Contacts

For further information on the above, please contact a member of the Strategic Procurement Team:

Diane Fenton (Compliance and Support Officer) Diane.Fenton@agilisys.co.uk Tel: 01275 885197

John Calwell (Senior Operational Buyer) John.Calwell@agilisys.co.uk Tel: 01934 427 584

For all general queries please email: procurement@n-somerset.gov.uk

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