Many people have real and serious concerns about the economic future and the character of their communities. We need to ask ourselves some serious questions about who these decisions in relation to redevelopment are being made for? And do our communities really benefit, locally or otherwise, certainly at times it is not us the customers? In the not so recent past local government has hindered economic growth and has damaged the economic vitality of our communities, but, it does not have to be this way.
One way that local government can help, rather than hinder, our small to medium sized enterprises and our communities is by improving procurement practice something that helps create and sustain local jobs. Plaid has called for legislation to be used to ensure that Welsh public sector contracts are allocated wisely to maximize job creation and investment opportunities here in Wales. The Welsh Government has previously announced a National Procurement Service, Plaid Cymru has rightly warned that unless further concrete action is taken then we in Wales will see savings but we will not see the full benefits.
The Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood said:
“Procurement is one of the successes of the National Assembly. By ensuring that Welsh public money is spend in the Welsh economy then we can create and support employment. A Plaid Cymru government would work towards achieving a target of 75% local procurement in Wales because we know that this could create 46,000 jobs here. That would make a huge dent in the unemployment figures.
“Spending that money with local companies in our local communities can also have a significant knock-on investment effect. By creating the demand we will also be improving the skills of our workforce, will be increasing the number of jobs, and will be supporting our local and national economies.
“Many businesses have told us that the process of bidding for work needs to be simplified, and for that reason, at a local government level in particular, we have argued for contracts to be unbundled. We have also worked to remove barriers to make it easier for small, local firms to apply for contracts. It’s about supporting our companies and sustaining our economy.
“Procurement is one way in which Plaid Cymru has made a real difference to employment levels and economic performance, and we will continue to make the case for ensuring that the money of Welsh taxpayers is used as wisely as possible, for the sake of our communities.”