Why is Isle of Wight council spending £41k a year on Amazon? Better to spend locally says Island Labour

Island Labour say 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 in the last year they have spent £41,000 with Amazon.

Amazon warehouse in Spain

Julian Critchley shares this latest news on behalf of Island Labour.

It appears that Isle of Wight Council has significantly increased the amount it’s spending with Amazon. In a previous OnTheWight investigation with local Tech wizard Wight Geek, we found IWC officers had spent £42k on credit cards, but over four years.

OnTheWight has approached the council over the issue and will update once we hear back. Ed

The Isle of Wight Council is being urged to do more to support local businesses after the extent of the authority’s retail spend with US retail giant Amazon was revealed by the Island Labour Party.

Labour says the council’s spending with online retailers needs to be reviewed after the party discovered over £41,000 has been spent by the Isle of Wight council with Amazon alone during the last year.

Labour says the council also routinely spends with other major online retailers at a time when many small local businesses are struggling. The party has called on the council to review its procurement protocols to see if more trade can be given to local retailers.

Critchley: Island businesses need support
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said,

“We all accept that buying goods online can be quick and cost-effective and we all know that the council needs to save money given the austerity inflicted upon it by Conservative Government.

“But at a time when it is purporting to be supporting local business it seems that it is spending tens of thousands of pounds off-Island with companies renowned for destroying jobs and avoiding fair taxation.

“If our council is habitually taking the lazy option and spending money off-Island with online retailers then it needs to take stock and not just put its money where its mouse is.”

Critchley: “Difference between local businesses thriving or dying”
Mr Critchley said that in 2015 the 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 it seems clear 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.

“The council should be leading by example by spending locally whenever it can. And don’t forget, successful local businesses contribute businesses rates to the council which can be used to protect and improve local services.

“We simply call on the council to look at its buying policy and ensure that all money that could be spent with local traders is being spent in this way.

“For its part, Labour has reminded its members of the importance of supporting local businesses and I am sure they will be doing their bit to support the local economy.”

Image: Alvaro Ibanez under CC BY 2.0

Saturday, 8th December, 2018 11:09am


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2lWX

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

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16 Comments on "Why is Isle of Wight council spending £41k a year on Amazon? Better to spend locally says Island Labour"

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41k is pretty much a drop in the ocean or eventhe Medina, when compared to the cost of a certain infamous ferry that should have perhaps been built on the Island.


Maybe some firms on the Island will guarantee to undercut Amazon for all IOWCC purchases. Value for money is essential when have austerity for so many who need help.


They probably find the cost of car parking too expensive to use local businesses.


Bit difficult this one.
We expect the purchasing dept at the IWC to source the best value and price but ideally would like it to be from local suppliers.
Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.


So does Mr. Critchley not use Amazon, then?

Me, I buy local where I can but use on-line stores where it makes sense pricewise. Why should the council be any different? We all want best value for money, no? Just because the IWC says it will use local businesses where possible, doesn’t mean to the exclusion of all others.

Bah, humbug.

Well my income is based overwhelmingly on the spending of everyone else on the Isle. And I imagine many of your incomes are based on the spending of me and others on the Isle. If you give your money to a company that avoids tax and gets as close to exploiting its workers as it can, it makes the whole island poorer. I agree not everything is… Read more »
Benny C

Maybe they can find a reliable chain ferry solution on EBay. That would help support local businesses currently being driven to the wall while Councillors browse for trousers in official meetings. Remember their names at voting time.


Hope they use Amazon Smile alternative, same price for your goods but they donate 1p in £ to your chosen charity! They need to give something back as they apparently don’t pay corporation tax!

So was there anywhere on the Island that could provide these goods? What exactly were they? Times have changed since the YTS girl was given a fiver and sent off on her bike with a shopping list.It wasn’t that long ago that there were moans because the council had spent a large amount on cameras for the traffic wardens and many people were pointing out that they… Read more »
The point is that while buying online CAN be quick and cost effective there are also local alternatives that bring other benefits as Labour’s statement makes very clear. Furthermore it is council policy to source locally where it can. Labour is asking the council – in quite sensible terms it seems to me – whether it is abiding by that commitment. If the council wants to rescind… Read more »

Individual IWC Managers are allocated set budgets and therefore have to obtain the best value for money (cheapest prices) or risk “imposed savings” within their areas of responsibility.

Cost effective purchasing – surely this makes sense noting the pressure that all budget holders appear to be under. What is actually being bought – now that is another question…! I think that this is basically a non-story generated for sensationalisation and whilst I am certain that we would all rather support local business, the reality is that in some certain areas, higher prices are the outfall… Read more »

Who gives a rats rear end what Island labour have to say about ANYTHING.
They should be far more concerned about the very questionable appointment by their scruffy leader of the mother of a drug dealing, council flat swindler to the house of lords.
Get your own house in order BEFORE you start complaining about others.


And the prize for Angry Foamy-mouthed Rant of the Day goes to…..


Well done, sir.

So the Council is using Amazon to save us, the rate payers, money. I was a local shop keeper for 30 plus years and try now whenever possible to buy locally. But! I needed a text book a few months ago and tried the local book shop. Told it would be 10 days and cost £30. Amazon, next day cost £20. I have had many examples of… Read more »
Hi Den – pretty much as I said above. The reality is that we all face financial pressure, personally or professionally and we have to make the best decisions possible based on our circumstances. Hence, why is this a story…? The headline could be “Council saves taxpayers money by using cheap, quick online retailers” or “Council saves money by avoiding more expensive purchasing option”. Sadly we are… Read more »