Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 1 October 2021

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


LGA Logo with padding 2019

Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

1 October 2021

Twitter IconLinkedIn IconFacebook IconYoutube icon

Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter for 1 October 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 – Deadline day final reminder

The deadline for submissions is today – we’ve had an amazing response so far so thank you to all those who have returned them so far and I’m sure, there’s many more like me, who will be completing them this afternoon so keep them coming.

We have heard from a few of you who have been dragged away to deal with the fuel shortages during the week and we are willing to be slightly flexible with late submissions but please contact guy.head@local.gov.uk (if you haven’t done so already) to alert him that your submission is on its way.

And just a reminder that by completing your response you will have fulfilled your benchmarking commitments, as laid out in the National Procurement Policy Statement that all;

  • contracting authorities with an annual spend of £200m or more are required from April 2022 to publish procurement pipelines and to benchmark their procurement capability
  • contracting authorities with an annual spend of £100m or more are required from April 2023 to publish procurement pipelines and to benchmark their procurement capability.

The benchmark will also help you gauge your current level of attainment against the National Strategy and ascertain where improvement is needed in accordance with your own local priorities.

COVID stories

Covid Certification – Council Enforcement

The Government has released further detail on proposals for mandatory COVID certification in the Plan B scenario set out in the Autumn and Winter Plan. The proposals detail the types of setting, venues and events COVID certification could be required in. With a small group of local compliance leads, the LGA has already been in discussions about what councils would need to enforce the measures if they were to be introduced. It is helpful to see that the proposals take on board feedback that powers to issue Coronavirus Improvement Notices, Restriction Notices and Immediate Restriction Notices would need to be reinstated, as well as other feedback to date. The government is inviting feedback on these proposals and the deadline for responses is 11 October. If you have any feedback on the proposals, or are able to share details of your response, please contact ellie.greenwood@local.gov.uk  

Furlough scheme comes to a close 

Yesterday the furlough scheme closed, with Office for National Statistics estimating that one million workers were expected to still be on be on the scheme on the date of closure. Since the start of the pandemic, it has helped pay the wages of 11.6 million workers. The Chancellor confirmed the next phase of the Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, part of a £400 billion support package for the economy. 

Non-COVID stories

Fuel crisis / HGV driver shortage  

This week has seen queues outside petrol stations across the country amid concerns about supply chain issues at fuel stations caused by a shortage of HGV drivers. The Government has put British Army tanker drivers on standby to be deployed if required to deliver fuel to where it is needed most but says there are signs that people are beginning to return to their regular buying habits and pressures are easing. We know that Local Resilience Forums in each region, consisting of local councils, emergency services and other agencies, have been working fast to review what can be done to help essential workers get the fuel they need during this time. 

The Government has announced a package of measures to tackle the wider shortage of HGV drivers. More than 10,000 foreign workers will be temporarily permitted to work as lorry drivers and in the food sector, the Department for Transport has announced. The scheme will create opportunities for 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers to take up employment in the UK until Christmas Eve.

Petrol shortages - Care staff and care for older and disabled people

There has been a lot of discussion over the past week between providers, DHSC and the sector in relation to petrol shortages, care staff and care for older and disabled people.

At present there is no indication that the government will enact the Civil Contingencies Act and therefore it will be for local decision as to when to implement emergency arrangements. There is a hope that the situation will resolve as the panic buying declines.

A lot of work was done in relation to Brexit Planning and Supplies, including fuel and it should be part of your council or LRF contingency plans. ADASS is working to the limit of our capacity to highlight that care staff should be a priority for fuel and would encourage you to do so too.

For your information, UKHCA has issued advice to its members to encourage:

  • route planning and potential for sharing cars
  • trying to make arrangements for a preferential supply from local petrol stations
  • in the last resort, reducing/consolidating calls and arranging cover with families, other providers or the local authority.

Welcome Back Fund  

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) updated the guidance and frequently asked questions to help councils and partners deliver activities through the Welcome Back Fund to support the recovery of the high street. The fund is providing councils across England with a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund. 

Electric vehicles charge points – consultation  

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) has launched a consultation on whether councils should have a statutory obligation to plan for and deliver charging infrastructure. The deadline is 22 November - the LGA intends to respond to this consultation and would welcome councils to share their draft responses with us. Additionally, we are organising a virtual roundtable discussion on November 2, to gather and share views from across the local government sector and to inform our response. Please contact simon.jeffrey@local.gov.uk if your council is interested in taking part or would like to share their draft response. 

Document Request – Modern Slavery Supply Chain Audit

Portsmouth City Council are looking for a supply chain audit document that a council has recently developed that they are willing to share from the sector – specifically they are looking at construction and repairs contracts but any kind of supply chain audit would be very well received - please contact Lisa.Wills@portsmouthcc.gov.uk directly with anything you’re willing to share.

SCAPE Social Partnership Portal

SCAPE has launched the Social Partnership Portal; a UK-wide platform designed to increase collaboration between industry and social suppliers. As national procurement guidance increasingly encourages the use of socially-responsible organisations in public sector construction, it’s more important than ever for us to make this process quick, simple, and easy.

The portal was procured by SCAPE, is powered by Local Supply Chain and backed by over twenty-five founding members from across the construction industry. Endorsed by Social Enterprise UK and Social Enterprise Scotland, this online platform is free for social businesses to build their profile, showcase their skills and demonstrate their ability to supply to the UK construction industry. It will provide contractors with improved access to social businesses, both locally and nationally, with the correct skill set for their projects and it will help all parties maximise the social, economic and environmental outcomes from construction projects. 

Local business relationship study   

We have commissioned Shared Intelligence to research how councils have been and intend to engage with local businesses over the coming years as the economy recovers from the worst of the pandemic. It will host two roundtable discussions, the first of which will be with councils (26 October) to understand how the relationship has changed and to capture the challenges and opportunities ahead. To register your interest and availability please contact pooja.gurnani@sharedintelligence.net. The second will be with business representative organisations who will be able to advise on ambitions for the businesses they represent and their relationships with councils.

Business Grants  

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published data on grants distributed to businesses in the form of Local Restrictions Support Grant, Additional Restrictions Grant and Restart Grant. Since April 2020, councils have made payments to businesses worth over £21.7 billion. More than 92 per cent of eligible councils have qualified for the top-up Additional Restrictions Grant receiving £392 million out of the possible £425 million that was available.  


Local climate action planning webinar

6 October 2021

Are you looking to find out how other councils are creating their climate action plans? Perhaps you’re wondering how local authorities have engaged their local partners and communities in the process? Or, how they are monitoring success? Tune in to this climate action planning webinar to find out more. 

Digital Technology and the Future of Health and Care - A Joint Cabinet Office – techUK industry engagement 

7 October 2021

techUK and the Cabinet Office are organising a virtual event bringing together representatives from across central government and the wider public sector, together with industry, to further understanding on the developments and opportunities within the dynamic area of connected health. The purpose of the event is to hear from the tech sector about the latest developments in connected health; for industry to get feedback from the public sector regarding the likely requirements, thinking and future direction of travel and to develop a cross-government community for the public sector and industry to benefit from shared learning.

Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic people in housing webinar

October 21 2021

 This webinar will give you an overview of the findings from a new report commissioned by the Care & Health Improvement Programme from NDTI ‘Supporting Autistic people to flourish at home and beyond’. In recent years, a greater understanding of autistic people has emerged. New research and years of collaboration with autistic people has changed almost everything society thought it knew about autism. Enabling autistic lives does not just mean improving social care or hospital settings, but also considering a wide range of environments and everyday places. The event will be helpful for council staff including commissioners of housing and care and support, as well as social work operational and NHS housing leads.

2021 National Social Value Conference: Wales - Leading the Movement 

16-17 November 2021

The National Social Value Conference: Wales returns this year, from the 16 to 17 November. Last year, we saw a hugely successful 2-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.

LGA Procurement homepage

National Procurement Strategy

Achieving Community Benefits – Social Value

Modern slavery in supply chains hub

Counter Fraud Hub

Climate Change Hub

Pass the Planet campaign