Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 6 August 2021

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

6 August 2021

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Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter for 6 August 2021. Feel free to circulate to your colleagues.

This newsletter is now delivered through our corporate service that handles all our various e-bulletins. Manage or create a subscription – or read previous bulletins.

National Procurement Strategy

Diagnostic Benchmarking Exercise – September 2021

We have had a good response from our call for updated contacts and we will be getting in touch with those who completed the diagnostic last time early next week to confirm the council lead is still in place. If you have had a change of staff or you want to complete on behalf of several councils who form part of a shared service, please email productivity@local.gov.uk and let us know. If you did not submit a response but want to nominate a council lead for this piece of work then please also get in touch, we are looking for a high response across the sector in order to fulfil our NPPS obligations.

As part of PPN 05/21 National Procurement Policy Statement public sector contracting authorities will be asked to benchmark themselves over the next couple of years and the LGA has worked hard to have our own, sector specific, National Procurement Strategy to be included as a recognised set of values to be benchmarked against. The 2021 diagnostic exercise is due to take place in September and we hope as many of you will be take part as possible.

COVID stories

Update to local COVID-19 contain framework 

 The Government has issued an updated contain framework for councils to help them manage outbreaks of COVID-19 within their communities. This framework outlines the role of Directors of Public Health as well as other local authority responsibilities in the light of the Government moving to Step Four of their roadmap to phasing out COVID-19 restrictions. 

Compulsory vaccination guidance for social care  

New operational guidance for vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes has been published by DHSC. From 11 November 2021, anyone working or volunteering in a care home will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless exempt. Additional resources, including social media assets and a Q&A, are available on the DHSC stakeholder google drive.

COVID-19 customer confidence toolkit

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has developed a COVID-19 customer confidence toolkit along with councils and  DHSC. The toolkit includes a suite of materials that councils can choose to use with local businesses to help promote ongoing customer confidence,  building on a number of schemes councils have already implemented. 

Parking concessions for health, care and volunteer workers   

This week, MHCLG published an update on the end of the Government’s free council car parking scheme for health, care and volunteer workers. The temporary guidance was withdrawn on 21 June 2021 since when councils have again set local parking policy. During the COVID-19 response period councils in England voluntarily offered free car parking to NHS workers, social care staff and NHS volunteer responders.

Non-COVID stories

Project Gigabit fund   

People living in rural areas will get access to improved broadband speeds as part of the Government's £5 billion Project Gigabit fund which aims to help upgrade digital infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas. New details published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reveal up to 11.85m additional premises across 26 English counties will get access to gigabit speed internet.

Climate Change 

MHCLG has refreshed its local government pages and added a section on Local government, climate change and the environment, including adaptation. It aims to bring together key guidance and information relevant to councils on net zero including buildings, transport, air quality, green jobs and waste and recycling. 

A local path to net zero

A local path to net zero is the LGA's climate change campaign which highlights the significant role of councils in advancing the UK’s net zero ambitions and our offer to government in the lead up to COP26. To find out more about the LGA's policy work, visit the climate, environment and waste page on the website.

West Sussex County Council – Clean Electricity Production

West Sussex County Council now produces more clean electricity than it consumes in delivering its core activities (excluding schools). This has been achieved through an ambitious programme to build solar farms on council land, integrate renewable energy technology into council buildings and enable more than 80 schools to switch to clean power. 

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging

The findings of Local Partnerships’ research to scope the role of local authorities in EV charge point delivery has now been published. This work draws together the views of Local Authorities on the role they should have in EV infrastructure and highlights key barriers faced by the sector. 


Procurex National – 15 September 2021

Procurex National is back for 2021 - the event will take place in an innovative hybrid format both live in venue and streamed online.

Connecting buyers and suppliers across from the UK, Procurex National, once again featuring the UK Infrastructure Show and co-located with P4H England, will provide a wealth of skills development, networking, collaboration and product showcase opportunities for organisations that are actively working with or hoping to work with the UK's £284bn public procurement marketplace.

Building Housing Retrofit Skills - 15 September 2021

The UK’s housing stock will need to be carbon neutral by 2050. Councils are working hard to retrofit their own housing stock, whilst building construction skills in the community to build a pipeline of skills. This webinar will share a number of good practice examples from experts and councils who are creating local green jobs in the area of housing retrofit.

Levelling Up procurement: using government spend to transform local economic outcomes - 16 September 2021

In this webinar Localis will be looking to ask;

  • How would it be possible and what would be necessary to make the reform of public service commissioning align with the government’s overarching strategy to 'level up' opportunities, particularly in left-behind places?
  • Given the need to squeeze the most out of the local pound and spending allocations over the next Spending Review period and drive post-pandemic recovery, how can we challenge government suppliers. For example, is every single penny of local procurement promoting a living wage to get people out of poverty? Are major providers of local services benefiting from procurement helping people and how many apprenticeships are being delivered for every £1m spent on local schemes?
  • What metrics should we look to in assessing any impact on skills, jobs and business growth from changes to procurement practice?


  • Darren Knowd, Chief Procurement Officer, Durham County Council and chair, National Advisory Group, Local Government Association
  • Jeffrey Matsu, Chief Economist, CIPFA
  • Professor Chris White, Director of Industrial Policy and Insight Centre at the MTC, Visiting Professor of Industrial Strategy at Loughborough University

2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales - Leading the Movement – 16-17 November 2021

The National Social Value Conference: Wales returns in November this year. Last year, we saw a hugely successful two-day virtual conference, with over 800 delegates from across public bodies and anchor institutions in Wales.


The LGA Procurement team manages a number of webpages dedicated for your needs – please contact guy.head@local.gov.uk if you want anything uploaded to our webpages.