Voluntary groups encouraged to fight for tenders

editorial image

VOLUNTARY and community groups are being given advice on how best to compete with private firms for public sector contacts.

Funding is already passed on to a number of charitable groups in the community, but council grants can only go so far and a majority of these groups are taking on tenders for work to help sustain themselves.

Group manager for partnerships and citizen insight for Dacorum Borough Council Dave Gill said: “This move for community groups and charities reflects the more difficult financial circumstances they are facing at the moment.

“It also opens up more ways they can be more sustainable themselves.”

The borough council ran a ‘Meet the Buyer Event’ on Thursday and Friday to help voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in the area better understand the bidding process for council contracts.

Dacorum has previously indicated that it would like to see more organisations win public sector contracts.

Mr Gill added: “The council currently offers grants. and has strong relationships with around 10 organisations in Dacorum.

“But this can only stretch so far.

“The private sector is generally better at getting tenders and the events we’ve held will allow them to access markets more easily and bid for council contracts.”

Many local voluntary organisations already provide public sector services.

These include Community Action Dacorum’s running of Hemel Hempstead’s shopmobility service, and Druglink’s scheme working to with a number of police forces to help tackle alcohol addiction and the problems that entail.