'We want to put more money in Hartlepool businesses' - council debates contract rules

Councillors have backed plans to ensure the local authority looks to provide contracts to Hartlepool businesses when it can.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 5:35 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council’s constitution committee has looked at the contract procedure rules in place and potential changes.

Councillors hit out at the initial recommendations in a report put forward from council officers - warning they should not be making it harder for local companies to bid for contracts.

Instead suggestions were made, which were unanimously approved, guaranteeing a greater number of quotes to be sought from local businesses.

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Hartlepool Borough Council's Civic Centre headquarters.
Hartlepool Borough Council's Civic Centre headquarters.

Under the new guidelines, for all contracts up to £10,000, a minimum of two local companies where available should be invited for quotes.

Meanwhile, from £10,000-£25,000, the council should get a minimum of three quotations, with two invitations from local companies where possible.

Councillor Jonathan Brash told the meeting: “We cannot change our procurement rules to make it harder for local companies to get our services, we have to go the other way.

“We want to put more money in Hartlepool businesses.”

Council leader Cllr Shane Moore, the chair of the committee, said the council should “always go local when they can”.

Currently the council has to get at least two quotes for contracts valued between £1,000-£5,000, with a minimum of one local company invited for a quote, where applicable.

For between £5,000 and £25,000 this increases to three quotes, with at least two from local businesses.

Current legislation for contracts up to £1,000 just states officers should “attempt to procure services from local organisations where possible, although consideration must be given to costs”.

The new recommendations will now go to a full council meeting.