Each year our councils spend millions of pounds buying goods and services, but all too often this money flows out of Wales. Small, local suppliers aren’t always set up to compete with larger rivals for council contracts. The Labour Welsh Government doesn’t seem to care that their way of awarding contracts means that Welsh companies are missing out on opportunities. Plaid Cymru wants to change this, putting systems in place to support local businesses who want to bid for local government work. By awarding contracts responsibly and by putting the local economy first, our councils have the opportunity to secure services and jobs within local businesses.
We believe that Welsh public sector contracts in Wales should go to Welsh businesses, a policy which keeps investment in Wales, supports jobs and strengthens our economy.
Gwynedd Council have already begun tackling this problem, putting in place a new procurement system designed to keep the benefit local. Not only has this pumped millions into the local economy, but it has also saved the council £2.3m over five years.
All councils hold money in reserve, to meet future spending commitments. This reserve runs into the millions of pounds for each council, and parts of it are often locked away in an investment portfolio. Plaid Cymru believes that this is money that could be better invested in local, low-risk projects.