Council leaders have called on the Government to ‘simplify’ the current rules on how local authorities buy goods and services once the UK has exited the EU.
The Local Government Association (LGA) called for Whitehall to introduce a more efficient UK system regulating how councils procure goods and services.
It said that post-Brexit the Government should legislate to give councils greater ability to use local suppliers and specify a minimum local living wage for their suppliers’ employees.
Councils should also be allowed to specify additional social value so that companies awarded contracts can be asked to employ or train a number of local people.
The LGA emphasised that councils, which collectively spend £55bn per year on goods, works and services, should still be allowed to advertise any contract of any size EU-wide after Brexit.
Chairman of the LGA’s Brexit task and finish group, Cllr Kevin Bentley, said: ‘Regulation of public procurement will clearly continue to be necessary when we leave the EU to allow councils to continue to demonstrate best value for money and ensure effective and fair competition, but introducing more local flexibility and easier procurement rules after Brexit would provide more community benefits and more growth opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises.
‘It would also allow councils to promote local suppliers and local labour, and ensure workers earn a decent wage.’