Procurement and supply chain: 17 March 2023

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Procurement and supply chain bulletin

17 March 2023

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Welcome to the merged NAG/SOPO newsletter – feel free to circulate to your colleagues and/or suggest they sign up to the bulletin themselves.
This newsletter is now delivered through our corporate service that handles all our various e-bulletins. Manage or create a subscription - previous bulletins can now be found here.

Procurement and supply chain

National Association of Construction Frameworks - Market Intelligence Report Q4 2022

Every quarter, the National Association of Construction Frameworks (NACF) main contractors gather market intelligence from within the construction industry. Data is collected for 10 high level construction trades across seven cities within the UK. This data is grouped into five regions: South, London, Wales, Midlands, and the North. This information is used to identify national and regional market trends and forecast for the following year by commenting on changes in tender workload, employment, building costs and material & labour availability. The NACF shares this information in order to highlight key areas of risk that may impact future project delivery.

Social Value in Planning – request for information

The Social Value in Planning Taskforce is a sub-group of the National Social Value Taskforce and has been operating since November 2020. The group comprises over 30 active members from the public and private sectors and meets quarterly to discuss how to embed social value in planning and unlock greater benefits for local communities through new development.  The group has launched a survey to gather information about how social value is included in the planning process.  We are asking procurement officers to bring this to the attention of their planning colleagues. The collated data will be shared at the Social Value Conference in June.  Everyone who completes the survey will receive a copy of the resulting insights report.

Buying for Schools programme: roundtable events for school business professionals

The Department for Education is holding roundtable events for school business professionals to network, share procurement issues and priorities, guidance and find out more about the free procurement support.

Schools can register to attend one the events, which are taking place until 30 March across England.

Find a Grant’ digital service launched

The Cabinet Office has launched a ‘Find a Grant’ digital service, a single place for eligible individuals and organisations to find and apply for government grants and gain access to financial support.

The government has recently decided to make it mandatory, which means central government departments and their arms-length bodies must advertise their competitive grant schemes via the service from 1 April.
The Cabinet Office is also offering councils the opportunity to advertise their grants on the service.

As well as advertisements, the service has an application function, which will enable councils to build an application form to suit their grant’s requirements.
The government has produced materials which provide an overview and guidance for councils on how to register as a grant administrator and post an advert on ‘Find a Grant.’

The digital service is free of charge for at least the next 18 months. If you have any questions, please contact

Spring Budget

The Chancellor delivered his Spring Budget which sets the Government’s spending priorities for the economy and ambition to achieving long-term, sustainable economic growth.

Our On-the-Day Briefing summarises the key announcements for councils and provides an initial LGA view. 

The Chancellor’s statement included reforms to support people into work and greater responsibilities for local leaders over local economic growth, funding and measures to widen employment support, improve local roads, protect swimming pools from rising costs and funding for vital regeneration efforts amongst other announcements of note to councils.

Spring Budget: Swimming pool support fund 

The Chancellor announced that the Government will provide over £60 million of support for public swimming pools across England. This will be targeted to address the immediate cost pressures facing public swimming pool providers, as well as providing investment in energy efficiency measures to reform facilities, reduce future operating costs and deliver long-term sustainability.

Energy Bills Discount Scheme: Heat Networks webinar

In the Spring Budget the government announced that it will provide heat network customers with a higher rate of relief through the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS).

Eligible heat network suppliers with domestic customers will be required by law to apply for this rate through a digital application portal which will open in April. Councils and housing associations that operate heat networks will need to apply.

The Department for Energy Security & Net Zero is hosting a webinar from 10:00 – 11:00am on 23 March which will provide an overview of the scheme and take questions from attendees.

Councils are encouraged to share information on the webinars as appropriate.

New framework to ensure road and rail development projects protect the environment

An updated framework with measures to protect the environment in new major road, rail, and rail freight scheme was announced by the government this week.

The framework has been updated to reflect legislation set out in the Environment Act, which requires developers to recognise new environmental targets and sets out further details on biodiversity net gains. The new framework also recognises the proposed environmental outcome reports, allowing the government to set clear and tangible environmental outcomes against which transport schemes are assessed.

A consultation has been launched on an updated national networks national policy statement. This includes measures that would require developers of new road, rail and rail freight schemes to show how they meet environmental targets, consider biodiversity net gains and the impact of their proposals on carbon emissions.

The government is also launching a review of the planning framework for major developments at ports around England.

Webinars and events

Local Government Procurement Expo (LGPE) 2023
27 April 2023, Hammersmith, London | In person conference

CIPFA - Unleash the Power of Procurement to Deliver Better Public Services Conference
16 May 2023, ICAEW (auditorium), London  | In person

Win More Bids: Local Government Webinar - Social Value Portal
Thursday 23 March, 14.00 | Online

Towards a Social Value Economy - The Social Value Conference 2023
13 - 14 June 2023, Westminster, London | In person conference


The LGA Procurement team manages several LGA webpages dedicated to your needs. Please email if you would like any information added to our webpages:

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