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Chelmsford City Council commits to fairer and greener purchasing

December 8, 2020 4:48 PM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats

Cash (Telegraph)Chelmsford City Council has committed to taking social and environmental issues into account when making its purchases. The Lib Dem-led Council's Cabinet has adopted a new Social Procurement Strategy for at least the next five years.

The Strategy commits the Council to carry out all purchases in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible manner. The strategy is designed to add value to the Council's services, reflect modern public procurement practice and support the Council's aims and objectives.

In July 2019, Chelmsford City Council declared a climate and ecological emergency. The Council pledged to review its practices and implement changes to address carbon emissions and boost biodiversity. The Procurement Strategy 2020 - 2025 will support delivery of the Climate and Ecological Action Plan and the Council's commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

The Council is committed to acting in a socially responsible way and would encourage its suppliers to do the same. The Council spends around £40m a year with third parties to enable the effective delivery of its services.

Cabinet Member for a Fairer Chelmsford, Lib Dem Councillor Chris Davidson, said "The Council can and should take broad social issues into account when buying goods and services. Adopting a social value procurement policy will help the council deliver its Climate and Ecological Emergency strategy and the commitments of the Modern-Day Slavery Charter."

The Council will ensure that the processes used to source these goods, services and works are in line with current regulation; have economic, social and environmental impacts that are as positive as possible; makes efficient use of council resources; delivers value for money and supports the achievements of the Council's 'Our Chelmsford, Our Plan'.

The Council signed The Charter Against Modern Day Slavery (CAMDS) in February this year, after a motion was passed at a meeting with unanimous cross-party backing. It is estimated that around 13,000 people a year living in the UK are victims of modern-day slavery.

The Charter Against Modern Day Slavery commits all local authorities to continue ensuring its contractors and suppliers comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, including a commitment to buying all goods and services ethically. It also tackles any slavery, servitude, forced, or compulsory labour, human trafficking or exploitation in local communities.