COUNCIL’S ‘CONTRCATING REVOLUTION’ GATHERS PACE
‘Council aims to increase ‘locally sourced contracts’ by 10%’
The Labour administration at County Hall have signalled their intent to ‘support local business’ by increasing the amount and number of council contracts that are made available to Northumberland’s businesses.
The county spends over £400m a year with around £135m spent in Northumberland safeguarding and creating an estimated 2,000 private sector jobs but now the new Labour administration has signalled its intent to increase that by over £13.5m. The moves come as the council prepares to launch an ambitious house building programme worth an estimated £330m over the next 10 years which is expected to create at least 300 construction jobs each year.
While the next round of cuts imposed by the coalition government will mean tough decisions, the Labour leadership believe this will signal their intent to ‘support and create new private and public sector jobs’ and will mean that ‘the council will become more relevant to its communities’.
Labour group and council leader Grant Davey said
‘We’ve estimated that the county economy benefits to the tune of £135m from council contracts but we promised in the last election that we’d seek to increase that figure. We think we can make more contracts available and we’re aiming to open up another £13.5m for local companies. We’ve estimated this will mean at least 300 new or secured jobs within the supply chain and that will mean that we estimate council contracts have an impact on over 2,500 private sector jobs across Northumberland’.
The Labour administration have also acknowledged that moves by the previous Liberal Democrat administration to ‘suck services and jobs to Morpeth’ have had an adverse impact on both service delivery and local economies. The council is now looking at how they will open up new ‘service hubs’ in local towns like Hexham, Alnwick and Berwick