Sheffield praised for contract aid

Lord David Young
Lord David Young
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Two South Yorkshire councils have been honoured for their work supporting small businesses to bid for public sector contracts.

Sheffield Council and Barnsley Council were recognised at a Downing Street reception yesterday.

They were among 10 authorities named ‘best councils to do business with’ for their work helping small firms earn public sector contracts.

Councils are responsible for buying £58 billion of goods and services. The government wants them to help local businesses by improvingthe way firms can bid for the contracts.

Brandon Lewis, local government minister, who hosted the reception with Lord David Young, said: “Small businesses are the heartbeat of the British economy, central to creating jobs, stimulating economic growth and innovation.

“It’s time for all councils to act and ensure they cut back on unnecessary red tape which push up costs and make it harder for small firms to get on.”

Lord Young, Prime Minister David Cameron’s enterprise advisor, said: “Taking the red tape away from the public sector procurement process will give an enormous boost to entrepreneurs and a big reduction in costs to government.

“This competition is providing a vital service in shining a light on the best councils. I welcome the steps they have taken to open up their own procurement, helping to get local small businesses growing.”

Initiatives implemented by Sheffield Council include ensuring large council partners, such as Amey, employ small local firms, making procurement process information available online andoffering free face-to-face procurement sessions.

Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, said: “We want Sheffield to be the most business-friendly city in the UK and are continually working on making improvements on our business-friendly offer.

“This recognition is just the start of that journey.”