Essex: County council aims to help smaller firms bid for its ITS contracts

Essex county councillor Kevin Bentley

Essex county councillor Kevin Bentley

Essex County Council is aiming to help smaller local firms to bid successfully for its information and communication technology contracts by staging an event in partnership with Essex Chambers of Commerce.

The ECC ITC Market Engagement Event is being held in association with Essex Chambers of Commerce at the Essex Records Office in Chelmsford on Thursday, July 18, from 4pm until 7pm.

It aims to bring together council ICT strategy officers with local business representatives to explore opportunities for the benefit of the local economy.

The council will also take the opportunity to talk the the SMEs represented at the meeting about its commitment to economic growth in the county and how it is striving to ensure Essex is a place where business can grow and flourish.

Among the speakers will be county councillor Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure, and council offiers including David Wilde, chief information officer, Gillian Furlong, head of IS strategy, Jane Quy, supply chain manager,Matt Willis, skills manager, Sarah Bell, innovation and sector development manager, together with Graham Kennedy, director at Alexoria.

There will also be an open discussion entitled “How to engage effectively”, a question and answer session and networking opportunities.

Kevin Bentley said: “We want to break down the barriers SMEs experience when tendering for our contracts and give them a fair chance to compete against larger non local businesses.

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“SMEs sometimes feel that the public sector is more difficult to deliver work to than the private sector. This event aims to explain our tender process and open up the lines of communication. We believe using local suppliers can lead to a better quality of service and, at the same time, help the local economy.”

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers, added: “We are delighted that Essex County Council is seeking to help the county’s SMEs by organising this event to help understand the council’s work, especially in relation to ICT, and find out more about how they can put themselves forward for possible contracts.

“SMEs are an important part of our county’s businesses and I would urge them to come along and find out more.”

To book a place at the event or for further details, visit .

Although the event on July 18 is geared towards ICT businesses, the council hopes to hold events covering other industries in the future.