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Issue:- 11 October  2012

Contract shake up to boost jobs

A MASSIVE shake up of major contracts at Liverpool City  Council will see priority given to firms that commit to creating jobs and skills locally.  A report to the Mayor's Cabinet on Friday, 5 October 2012, is recommending placing an emphasis on using socially responsible contractors and suppliers when procuring the £270 million budget for buying in goods and services from 3rd parties.  A new Procurement Board is being set up which will co-ordinate all activity across the  Council with the aim of using the  Council's buying power to have a positive impact on jobs and skills.  Within existing EU and Best Value legislation, the City  Council will seek to prefer:-

►  Organisations with a smaller gap between the highest and lowest paid staff (pay multiple)

►  Social enterprises which plough their profits back in to developing the business

►  Firms which can demonstrate clear local benefits

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Finance,  Councillor Paul Brant, said:- "The new procurement policy is a shift towards making sure every penny of our spending benefits local people. The City  Council spends substantial amounts of money and it has the potential to really boost the local economy. This is about saying to firms that, in return for being awarded major contracts, we want them to demonstrate their commitment to developing jobs and skills in the City. We hope it will particularly help local suppliers, boost social enterprise and encourage small and medium sized enterprises to grow."

When awarding contracts, the  Council will consider what recruitment and training, subcontract and supply chain opportunities can be obtained to benefit the local community.

It could mean that work experience, training, equal opportunities and the recruitment of apprentices are stipulated as part of the contract specification. Businesses can choose to either: absorb the cost, pass it on to the City  Council or use Government initiatives such as the Young Person's Guarantee to offset it.

The new policy means that:-

►  Jobs and skills contract clauses will be considered first when awarding all new service and construction framework agreements, or contracts which have an annual value of more than £1 million

►  All existing service and construction contracts that are framework contracts or have an annual value of more than £5 million will be subject to negotiated voluntary agreements

►  All existing goods/product supply contracts with a value of more than £1 million and existing service and construction contracts that are framework contracts or have an annual value of £1 - £5 million will be subject to a jobs and skills charter. This will encourage firms to adopt best practices around targeted recruitment and training for local people

►  The proposal goes further than the Government's new Social Value Act, which comes into force in January 2013. It requires public services to consider how services which are commissioned and procured might improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area; but does not apply to framework, works or supplies contracts.

►  To support the implementation of the policy, awareness raising and training will be given to City  Council staff. Recruitment and skills advice will be provided to employers by Liverpool In Work - the Council's employer engagement team.


Liverpool Councillor take up top Euro role

A Liverpool Councillor is helping to strengthen the City's position in Europe, after taking on a prestigious new role.  The City  Council's Cabinet Member for Employment, Enterprise and Skills,  Councillor Nick Small, was appointed as the new chair of the EUROCITIES Economic Development Forum at a meeting of the Forum, that was held in Riga, Capital City of Latvia, on Friday, 5 October 2012.  EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities, which brings together key politicians and officers from more than 140 large Cities in the EU to help shape future European policy and develop opportunities to collaborate and exchange best practice in service delivery.

Councillor Small's new role, which he will hold until 2014, will see him as Chair of the Economic Development Forum, which has 78 member Cities. The Forum meets 3 times a year and provides a vehicle for lobbying the European Commission to make sure future programmes and funding meet the needs of Europe's Cities. Amsterdam has agreed to serve as Vice Chair of the Forum.  Having a Liverpool man at the helm will help give the City a stronger voice in Europe and put it in a better position to lobby the EU over vital funding as it prepares to deliver its €2,000 billion budget for 2012 to 2014.

 Councillor Small said:- "I'm really excited about taking on this new role and working closely with our partners over the next two years to make a real difference. I'm hopeful that we can have an impact on key decision makers and play our part in building a stronger economy in Europe.  I'm becoming chair of the EUROCITIES Economic Development Forum at crucial moment for the EU, as it negotiates its budget for the next seven years. I'll be making sure Liverpool's interests are represented effectively and I'll do all I can to ensure future European funding programmes aid the on-going development of our City.  I'll also be looking to bring the Liverpool experience to the Forum, and sharing with other member cities our successes in driving forward regeneration in our City and becoming more business-friendly."

The Economic Development Forum consists of a number of working groups which come together to share best practice and collaborate on key issues such as funding, entrepreneurship, innovation, urban regeneration, City region governance, and low carbon economy.  Its 'cohesion policy' working group will seek to have input into the development of new European Union funding programmes to succeed Objective One and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which brought huge benefits to Merseyside.

The group will also look to influence the European Commission's new €2.5bn programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME), which will run from 2014 to 2020. The programme will provide finance for companies; promote business creation and growth; encourage an entrepreneurial culture in Europe; increase the competitiveness of EU companies; and help small businesses develop their overseas markets.  And the working group will look to help shape the development of Horizon 2020; an €80 billion research and innovation initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020, the programme will invest in areas such as science, new technology and sustainable energy, as part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.

Eurocities was established in 1986, by the Mayors of 6 large Cities:- Barcelona, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Lyon, Milan and Rotterdam.

It offers members a platform for sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas. It Influences and works with EU institutions; through forums, working groups, projects, activities and events, to respond to common issues that affect the day-to-day lives of Europeans.   Eurocities aims to reinforce the important role that local governments play, shape the opinions of Brussels stakeholders and shift the focus of EU legislation to allow City governments to tackle strategic challenges at local level. 

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