Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Plaid plans for 1500 new local jobs and economic boost for Wrexham

Only one third of council contract spending spent in county


Plaid Cymru Westminster candidate Carrie Harper is calling on Wrexham Council to increase the amount of tenders and contracts allocated to local firms by 25%, which could create up to 1500 jobs in the county borough.

 The call follows an FOI request from Plaid revealing that only 33% of Wrexham council services put out to tender are procured within the county borough area.

 Carrie Harper said:” The low level of procurement of services from the council in Wrexham and also from Welsh based suppliers generally is something we have been monitoring for a number of years. It remains consistently low. “

“The FOI reveals that, out of a total of over £116 million spent by the council on procuring services in during the last financial year, only 33% was spent within Wrexham and only 45% from within Wales.

 "This just does not make any sense economically and the council needs a shift of perspective in order to secure as much local benefit as possible from its spending. 

 "The vitally important point to remember here is that creating these jobs does not cost an additional penny, it’s just about having a more local focus and spending smarter. “A progressive strategy designed to increase local procurement by 25% could produce up to 1,500 new local jobs. With the unemployment rate in Wrexham currently standing at 1,673, that can have a huge impact on our local economy and people's lives.

 "There are also other significant benefits if the council chooses to positively influence how the supply chain re-spends the income it receives. As well as creating new jobs, we can look to tackle issues such as deprivation and support the creation of new business, boost spending in local shops and create more apprenticeships. 

 "This is genuinely very exciting; we know that money spent with local businesses stays in the local economy. I’m increasingly angered that council spending levels within Wrexham remain so low and this has to change.”

Carrie Harper said there were good examples of how this had been achieved in other councils: “In 2012 the Federation of Small Businesses commissioned a report looking at how council supply chains can help small businesses. They quote the example of Manchester City council which, through a strategy based on place, economic development and influence, increased the re-spend back into the Manchester economy from 25p to 42p in every pound.  


 "Wrexham can do this as well and transform our local economy. The only question to ask is why we’re not doing this already? It’s only red tape that makes it more difficult for smaller local businesses to bid for these contracts and this issue has been successfully tackled elsewhere.”


As well as the obvious local benefits to Wrexham, Plaid’s strategy is to increase local procurement from council spending across Wales by 25%. This could create up to 50,000 jobs across the country and transform the Welsh economy. Plaid Cymru is wholly committed to making life better for the people of Wrexham and Wales, that is our main objective 

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