Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin: 28 January 2022

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Weekly COVID-19 supply chain bulletin

28 January 2022

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Welcome to the merged National Advisory Group (NAG) and SOPO (Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government) e-bulletin. Feel free to forward this email to your colleagues and / or suggest they sign up to receive it themselves.
This e-bulletin is now delivered through our corporate service which handles all of our e-bulletins and through which you can create or manage your subscriptions and read previous editions of this e-bulletin

COVID-19 stories

COVID-19 business grant funding schemes: guidance for councils

Last week the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) updated the guidance for local authorities on paying grants to support businesses during national lockdown periods and periods of local restrictions. The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant guidance and the Additional Restrictions Grant guidance have been updated and the changes include:

  • the application closing date has been extended until 18 March
  • applications may now be processed and checks made until the final payment date of 31 March
  • councils are now asked to report their data fortnightly rather than weekly.

Please email businessgrantfunds@beis.gov.uk if you have any questions.

Sales, fees and charges income compensation scheme

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) is still working through the assurance process for checks for Round 4 of the sales, fees and charges scheme, and payments will be made after these checks are completed. Local authorities are being asked to engage promptly with any queries to enable payments to be made in the spring as planned. The team can be contacted at SalesFeesChargesScheme@communities.gov.uk if you need any further information.

Non-COVID stories

LGA launches T Level support programme

The LGA views T Levels as an important way of training the next generation of employees and as a foundation to develop crucial skills required with our workforce. The LGA is offering direct support to councils through our T Level support programme, which aims to ensure that councils have the capacity to engage, plan and deliver high quality T Level industry placements. By signing up, you will receive a wealth of resources, expert advice, and training opportunities, with up to five days of flexible support throughout the two-year programme. The LGA will work closely with councils and support can include working to find a T Level provider, line management and mentor training, and help with the recruitment process. The LGA T Level support programme aims to add efficiency to the process while ensuring the industry placement is effective for both the council and the young person. Applications are now open.

'Procurement for Community Public Good' – a guide

Aspire Community Works has published its 'Procurement for Community Public Good' guide which focuses on commissioners using their purchasing power to maximise the common public good. They can do this through adopting a bespoke set of measures and processes designed to achieve this. They can also shift up the procurement gears to use them as a tool not only for the purchase of goods and services, but to drive public value through working collaboratively within local communities on innovation and design.

Crown Commercial Service 'Procurement Essentials' – how to evaluate bids

'Procurement Essentials' is a new series of articles to help you overcome common hurdles, understand key concepts, and make your life as a buyer of everyday goods and services easier. However complex the contract, a well-planned and transparent bid evaluation process is essential in achieving the right procurement outcome. The latest article in the series walks you through the bid evaluation process.

Suffolk County Council's first-ever full carbon budget

Suffolk County Council has published proposals for its first-ever full carbon budget, as it strives to be a net zero organisation by 2030. The inaugural full carbon budget will be presented alongside the council's financial budget and includes policy to enhance biodiversity across 30 per cent of Suffolk County Council’s estate. The net zero carbon budget will allow the council to measure its carbon emissions, and monitor and evaluate the impact of decisions it makes. This will mean it can report each year on its progress, tracking its ambitions towards net zero. The council will monitor many activities including:

  • the energy used in powering its buildings
  • the miles travelled by council workers
  • the waste it disposes
  • the fuel used to run buses and gritters.

Call for information

Procurement fraud e-learning modules

The Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC's) Local Government Commercial team is in the design stage of a new training video series that will be focused on the topic of procurement fraud for the local government sector. They are looking for local government procurement practitioners to help develop the suite of modules. We would be grateful if you could complete the short procurement fraud survey and please email productivity@local.gov.uk if you are interested in being involved in the working groups that are getting under way.


LGA National Construction Conference

Tuesday 1 and Thursday 3 February 2022, 10.30am–12.30pm | Online
Our National Construction Conference will again be a virtual conference and will be held across two mornings at the start of February:

  • Day 1 will include sessions on modern slavery in construction, progress of the Building Safety Bill and its implications, as well as the issues facing an industry recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Day 2 will focus on how climate change is having an impact on the construction industry. There will be sessions looking at how the industry is coming together to tackle issues such as the reduction of carbon emissions and how as clients of the industry, councils can make decisions to change behaviours and thereby help meet net zero national and local targets.

Applying behaviour change techniques to the climate emergency, sustainable travel and health inequalities

Tuesday 22 February, 10–11.45am
This webinar will look at how behavioural change techniques can be used in council services to work with communities and change their behaviour. It will feature councils who have used behavioural change techniques to tackle the biggest challenges of our day – climate emergency and health inequalities. It will also look at how the LGA is taking a regional approach in supporting councils to run behaviour change projects to combat these challenges.

Council and business collaboration on the climate emergency

Tuesday 15 March, 10.30am–12pm
The LGA and the Business Services Association (BSA) are hosting this webinar on how councils can effectively collaborate with the private sector, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) and infrastructure providers to address the climate emergency – focusing on:

  • What case studies on successful partnership working can teach us?
  • In which areas has collaboration yielded results, and in which areas is there potential for further collaboration?
  • What tools do local authorities have at their disposal to drive effective collaboration particularly with regard to the procurement process and what are the main barriers to overcome?
  • What can the private and VCSE sectors in conjunction with local government offer to address the climate emergency and what may they need to offer that they are not currently?


The LGA Procurement team manages several LGA webpages dedicated to your needs. Please email guy.head@local.gov.uk if you would like any information added to our webpages: