Northumberland County Council Labour Group are considering investigating a change of emphasis from cheapest first and wish to explore the new duties laid on Local Government to consider the social implications of the Local First initiative.
Northumberland Labour Group were elected in May this year on the back of manifesto promises to expand employment in Nothumberland they see the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 which came into force on January 31st 2013 placing a duty on public bodies to consider social value before procuring goods and services.
To do this the Act states that:
The authority must consider—
(a)how what is proposed to be procured might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the relevant area, and
(b)how, in conducting the process of procurement, it might act with a view to securing that improvement.
The leader of Northumberland County Council Grant Davey said "We see these new powers as an excellent way to ensure we employ local companies who can deliver local material or products made or sourced by local people into the Councils Family of Services arena. I have never thought that it was good policy to have items such as timber, bricks and roadstone brought in from Africa and South America where the use of child labour keeps the prices down when we have Europes largest forest and some of the safest operating brickworks and quarries in the world on our doorstep. I'm sure we can work with the myriad of small businesses across Northumberland to get Northumberland back to work."