Charter consultation meeting for city firms

By on 14/11/2012 in Cllr Ali, Cllr Stacey, News

Members of the local business community are being given a chance to learn more about plans for Birmingham City Council's new Business Charter for Social Responsibility during an event on November 21.

The meeting, hosted by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, will feature a discussion led by Cllr Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Commissioning, Contracting and Improvement and Cllr Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills along with officers from the council's corporate procurement team.

Businesses will be able to offer their thoughts and ask questions during the session, being staged at Chamber House, 75 Harborne Road, between 2pm and 4pm.

Cllr Ali said: “We want to introduce a procurement strategy that puts Birmingham citizens and businesses first, to offer a much-needed boost to our city's struggling economy to create jobs and apprenticeships.”

Cllr Stacey said: “Innovative procurement is not just simply about the direct economic benefits; our purchasing power will be used to encourage suppliers and partners to make a positive contribution to Birmingham's communities through activities such as mentoring and capacity building, and working with schools and third sector groups, as well as protecting the environment and maintaining the highest ethical standards.

“We are keen to engage with the Chamber of Commerce because it provides a critical link into the business community, representing some of the many local organisations that we would like to work with in the future.”

Another element of the charter is for suppliers to agree to pay the Birmingham Living Wage - 'providing dignity in work and greater financial security' - which the council has already introduced for 3,000 of its directly-employed, lowest paid workers.

Future commissioning and contracting decisions will take account of the principles of the charter and it will form part of the terms of new Birmingham City Council contracts.

Katie Teasdale, Director of Policy and Strategic Relationships at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said: “This meeting will give all local businesses the chance to understand the council's new charter - and directly contribute to its development through the consultation.

“The consultation is seeking views on what should be included in the charter, the Living Wage itself and the threshold at which the new charter will apply. We urge all businesses who seek to supply the council to attend the meeting.”

Birmingham City Council's six-week consultation for the charter ends on November 28. To register for the event, businesses should contact k.teasdale@birmingham-chamber.com

ENDS

Notes to editors

•    The Living Wage of £7.20 per hour i.e. above the core national minimum wage of £6.08 was introduced for Birmingham City Council staff on 1 July 2012.
•    The proposed six principles in the charter are: local employment; Buy Birmingham First; good employer; partners in communities; green and sustainable; ethical procurement.
•    The full Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility is attached and can be seen at www.birmingham.gov.uk

For more media information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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