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100 contractors sign up to Birmingham council 'social contract'

More than 100 firms have signed up to The Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility, which promises to 'buy Brummie' and pay the living wage.

Birmingham City Council where members are predicting a 'battle royale' if an elected mayor is imposed on the city or region

More than 100 firms have signed up to a charter promising to ‘buy Brummie’ and pay the living wage.

The Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility places a number of expectations on suppliers to the city council when contracts are renewed.

Not only do firms have to pay decent wages and use local suppliers, they must also create local jobs and apprenticeships, be green and plough something back into the community.

Eventually more than 500 businesses, which supply more than £200,000 worth of goods or services to the council per year, are expected to sign up.

The charter aims to squeeze extra value from the £1 billion the council spends on procurement.

Professional services firm Deloitte, construction giant Carillion and janitorial supplier Enterprise Rent-A-Car are among some of the larger businesses to sign up.

Coun Stewart Stacey, cabinet member for commissioning, contracting and improvement, said: “The charter makes a clear statement about those that have earned it – they look after their employees, the environment, those in their supply chain and the communities they work amongst.

“As a council, we control £1 billion of spending annually, so we want to make sure that every penny of taxpayer money is spent in a way that delivers the maximum benefits for the people of Birmingham. The charter is a mechanism to do this.”

The initiative, launched by the city council last year, honours businesses and other organisations for their efforts to maximise social value from their daily operations.

A total of 32 organisations were accredited at the latest awards ceremony at Birmingham Council House, with construction giant Carillion becoming the hundredth.

As part of their commitments, the firms pay the living wage, which now stands at £7.85 per hour, and reiterate their commitment to not use worker blacklists.

They also agree to pay suppliers within 30 days and allocate one per cent of their project margins to community projects and activities.

Chris Hall, Carillion Midlands development director, said: “We see this commitment as an integral part of how we deliver projects throughout the City and assist local businesses and individuals to prosper.”


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