Manchester City Council is playing a ‘pioneering role’ in reinvesting spend back into the local economy with its progressive procurement policies, report says.
Around ten years ago, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) started undertaking work around public procurement. Our interest in procurement was three-fold. First, we wanted to understand more effectively where procurement spend went and the impact in particular it had upon local economies. Second, we wanted to shift the behaviour of procurement officers so that a wider range of factors informed the procurement decision. Third, we wanted to influence the behaviour of suppliers so that they delivered greater benefits for local economies and people through the provision of goods and services.
The function of local economic development needs to evolve. Understanding and working with the wealth of local anchor institutions is one way forward, says Matthew Jackson
Local residents and businesses are reaping the rewards of a pioneering approach to local economic development in Preston, Lancashire, as highlighted in a new report published today by the progressive economics think tank, CLES.
Community wealth building through anchor institutions, reflects on three and a half years of work carried out by CLES, collaboratively with Preston City Council and eleven other anchor institutions to put into practice progressive economics that truly benefits people and place.
Places across the UK are striving to find new ways of attracting wealth, enhancing economic growth and addressing poverty. For the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), the attraction of wealth through inward investment is important; but of more importance is understanding and harnessing existing wealth for the benefit of local economies and communities.
“Cities need to understand and harness the potential of their existing wealth,” says Matthew Jackson, deputy chief-executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, who helped create the Preston model and is now running the Birmingham project.
Birmingham City Council is joining with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and Barrow Cadbury Trust to examine how anchor institutions can boost local economic opportunities. Neil McInroy and Matthew Jackson explain the approach and the need for a closer look at growth.
Funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, CLES will be undertaking work in Birmingham over the next 18 months exploring how the power of anchor institutions based in the City can be harnessed for maximum local economic and social benefit.
Framed by austerity, the economic reality behind many voters choosing Brexit was a future of little promise – insecure jobs, insecure public provision, insecure futures. As a result, many leave voters felt that they had little or nothing to lose. On the back of an economic recession eight years ago, insecurity and a social recession has been built.
The EU referendum has shone a light on the failure of the treasury’s local economic and devolution model. The ‘devolution revolution’ may have beguiled some, but it has passed many by. The promised ‘northern powerhouse’ was a canny brand which few saw any tangible outcome from. Indeed, I know of many economic development practitioners who felt that austerity framed devolution and its bullish treasury-backed city agglomeration ‘growth at all costs’ approach was flawed. However, they rightly got on with it, longing for it to be just a start, and something to grapple, amend and make progressive.