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New procurement system 'should not be London-centric'

Wed 09 Mar 2011

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) all over the UK should have the chance to access government contracts, an MP has said.

According to Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, Yorkshire has some of the best businesses in Britain.

As a result, he believes they should "get a fair share" of the contracts being put out to tender by the government.

Mr Bayley has already contacted Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin to seek assurances that regional businesses will be adequately represented.

Speaking to the York Press, Mr Bayley insisted that favouring companies based in London and the south-east would "not be acceptable".

He added that all regions should benefit equally from the contracts that are currently up for grabs, particularly at a time when "many businesses are struggling".

Last month, prime minister David Cameron said he wants 25 per cent of public sector contracts to be secured by SMEs, as only five to ten per cent are currently awarded to businesses of this size.

Richard Tinham, a specialist in procurement law at law firm Winckworth Sherwood, said: "It will be interesting to see how SMEs fare in procurement processes over the next 12 months.

"Policy is certainly moving in a favourable direction, but European law may not yet be sufficiently accommodating to see any change in approach at the coal face."ADNFCR-2761-ID-800452227-ADNFCR

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