Published: 10th Mar 2011

Council procurement managers aren’t the enemy of enterprise, Mr Cameron. But with your help they could do more to support local businesses, says Matthew Jackson In the government’s latest crusade against the functions of local government, prime minister David Cameron proclaimed at the weekend that the third of the ‘enemies of enterprise’ were ‘the public procurement managers who put contracts with big business before opening up markets for small enterprise’. For me and probably many in local government, this sweeping statement is wrong on a number of accounts. First, it is central government that’s the worst culprit for favouring big business when it comes to procuring goods and services. A look at the list of the top 100 suppliers to 15 central government bodies, also released last week, reveals spend of £4bn on BAE Systems; £1.6bn on Hewlett Packard; and £1.3bn on Serco. Hardly small enterprises. Second, local government is … (To read the full article, subscribe below)