Monday briefing: Procurement takes centre stage with return to business as usual

13 May 24

Buying-in gets complicated, new faces arrive, throwing money away and Grenfell progress


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We’re back to business as usual – not least as the majority of politicos in Westminster are now working towards an autumn general election.

The local votes have been decided and, after vanquishing Britain First in the London elections, Count Binface has left our galaxy. North Yorkshire is his likely next sighting but don’t mistake reports of an alien craft landing and a distant figure bringing ideas from another planet. It’s more likely to be the prime minister’s helicopter…

Back in the real world, there’s a real headache as the Procurement Act begins to take shape. Today in the Commons, the government is bringing forward the draft Procurement Regulations 2024 for approval.

Frome pipeline notices right through to contract performance, a new regime is coming and public sector organisations are going to have to recalibrate.

The government, having set a ‘go live’ date of 28 October, is now beginning to roll out guidance and CIPFA is also providing training. The Local Government Association is supporting by sharing updates and signposting updates.

The Cabinet Office has announced a series of webinars on ‘Transforming Public Procurement programme (TPP)’ milestones, The first is on Wednesday, 15 May and you can still sign up.

Money for old rope?

Not to be outdone, the LGA is holding an event on Thursday outlining the future of waste services funding.

It said: “Big changes are coming for local authority waste and recycling services. These include the introduction of simpler recycling regulations, extended producer responsibility for packaging, extended emissions trading scheme for waste and a deposit return scheme for drinks containers. Individually these are complicated to deliver. Added together, they represent a complex and interlinked set of reforms that will place new responsibilities on councils, as well as residents and businesses.”

The rest is politics

Work is now under way to train hundreds of newly elected politicians including members and advice scrutiny leads who are leading committees for the first time.

A significant announcement due shortly will be the new Police and Crime Commissioner leads on key issues from domestic violence to antisocial behaviour. It follows a raft of changes of political control.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners explained: “Labour now has oversight of 22 of the 42 England and Wales police force areas. Conservative PCCs were elected in 19 areas, and Plaid Cymru retained control in Dyfed-Powys. In all, 16 police forces will be overseen by newly elected PCCs or their mayoral equivalents.”

Whitehall is moving quickly to ensure the new combined authorities get off to the right start. All have had shadow arrangements in place but from here it gets tougher. To help, the LGA has published new guidance for officers. Here are links for one and the other.

Howard Dawber has been reappointed as London’s deputy mayor for business and growth with responsibility for skills as well as the mayor’s growth plan.

The full effect of political control is also starting to impact. Thurrock has its first meeting next week since Labour took control and the awkward questions not answered so far are going to be top of the agenda.

There were changes of seats but not in the government’s favour so not change at the local Government Association.

Based on voting, control is now agreed:

LAB: 38.8%

CON: 31.4%



Labour remains the largest group at the LGA. 

Thinking ahead

Those seeking to divine what a Labour government has planned for Whitehall have an early steer from former Blair-era adviser Geoff Mulgan. He has published a paper on potential responses to issues such as AI and productivity.

He said: “Attention is beginning to turn to what new institutions might be created by a new government, with Labour promising a Great British Energy, a National Care Service, Skills England and an Office for Value for Money.” 

Find out more

Movers and shakers in LGPS

Trevor Castledine has been appointed as the first chief commercial officer for
LGPS Central, which covers the eight Midlands pooled schemes. He has previously held roles at Lancashire County Pension Fund and more.


This week the fall-out from the Grenfell Tower fire will be debated in the Scottish parliament. The issue of cladding remuneration is live and the meeting comes just days after a legal victory in England in favour of residents living in affected buildings.

Election countdown

Westminster Voting Intention:

LAB: 44% (=)

CON: 24% (-2)

LDM: 10% (+1)

REF: 8% (-2)

GRN: 7% (+4)

SNP: 2% (-1)

Source: @Survation

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