Isle of Wight council respond to their Amazon spending claims (Updated)

The Isle of Wight council respond to claims from Island Labour that “significant amounts of money that could be kept on the Island and might even be the difference between local businesses thriving or dying are routinely being spent on companies like Amazon”.

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Last weekend, Island Labour’s chairman, Julian Critchley, questioned why the Isle of Wight council has spent over £40,000 with Amazon in the last twelve months.

He argued that in 2015 the Isle of Wight council signed an accord with the Island Federation of Small Businesses which pledged to, where possible, use small businesses to provide goods and services, but had discovered that “significant amounts of money that could be kept on the Island and might even be the difference between local businesses thriving or dying are routinely being spent on companies like Amazon”.

IWC: Amazon spending “for reasons of urgency and specificity”
In response to the report, a spokesperson from Isle of Wight council told OnTheWight,

“We have spent £37,000 with Amazon in the last 12 months, mostly on books and IT equipment, for reasons of urgency and specificity of the items required.

“This represents 0.02 percent of our total spend with suppliers over this period.

“We have spent £50 million with local suppliers over this period and this does not include mainland companies who have Island-based businesses, such as care homes.

“It also does not include spend on larger contracts such as Island Roads, Amey and the NHS.”

Different figures
There’s a difference between the two claimed figures – £41k from Cllr Critchley vs £37 from IWC. IWC have confirmed to OnTheWight that the period of time they based their spending figures on (Nov 17 – Oct 18) is the same as Cllr Critchley’s.

Use IW ‘where they offer best value’
OnTheWight asked whether council had a policy in place to encourage officers and staff to buy locally rather than through Amazon?

The spokesperson replied,

“The council’s procurement policy contains provision that, where they offer best value, officers should use an Isle of Wight based supplier for contracts where the value falls below £25,000.

“Contracts over this value are advertised in the open market.”

Update 12:25 : Altered text about the different in claimed Amazon spending figured, after IWC confirmed they were covering the same period.

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Friday, 14th December, 2018 11:22am

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Filed under: Business, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Retail, Top story

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7 Comments on "Isle of Wight council respond to their Amazon spending claims (Updated)"

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profoundlife

“Where they offer best value” is a bit of a nothing statement. So when it’s the cheapest, go with the island, but don’t bother if it’s a few pence more. Well I’d be surprised if you didn’t go for the island seller if prices were the same!

I understand that there’s financial constraints, but at least the council could be open about saying “It’s all about the cheapest.”

tyke
The £41k (or £37k) is not the council’s total spend with online retailers it is just that spent with one company – Amazon. The true online figure is going to be significantly higher. The council response is rather dismissive of a perfectly reasonable point which is that the local authority should, particularly when it is purporting to be small-business friendly, be spending more money locally. This is… Read more »
Phil Jordan
As you well know, the Independents did not throw millions at the floating bridge. As you well know the conservatives left this Island (and public office) in 2013 with absolutely no financial provision for a replacement vessel. In spite of advising many residents in the election run up that year that they had the money for the replacement. The then Fb was 40 years old and in… Read more »
tyke

So a floating bridge that was procured by the Independent administration which has subsequently proved totally unsuitable has nothing to do with the Independent administration?
Nice try, Phil.

Phil Jordan
As you well know, the procurement and tender process is something no councillor was or would be involved in – of whatever political persuasion or whatever local authority. It was not procured by “the Independent administration” (contrary to your continued assertion) … it was procured by officers employed by the Council and working within a wider partner project Board (that did not include any councillors). Those are… Read more »
tyke

So the former administration was not responsible for the procurement but the current one is responsible for the cost of putting it right.
Keep going Phil, this is priceless…

tyke

So the former administration was not responsible for the procurement but the current one is responsible for the cost of putting it right.

Keep going Phil, this is priceless…