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Transfer StationMore than 100 businesses from the construction, waste and maintenance industries attended a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Chatham hosted by Medway Council.

Councillor Alan Jarrett, Deputy Leader of Medway Council, said “It was great to see such a big turnout to the second Meet the Buyer event with local Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) well represented. I had lots of positive conversations with suppliers pleased at the open and innovative approach we are taking. I believe Medway Council is starting to position itself at the forefront of public sector procurement. ”

Workshops on how to fill out tender documents, details about the online tendering process and advice from experts gave businesses an insight into improving opportunities to win council work.

Neville Gaunt, North Kent Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses for Kent & Medway said: “It is great to see Medway Council changing the environment for SME procurement. I hope the local business community responds well to the opportunity it gives them. The FSB fully supports simple and creative thinking to get best value to all. I was particularly impressed that Medway has set itself a target for contracting with SMEs which is double the Prime Minister’s target for Government Departments.”

A number of the organisations who currently contract with the council, and who are looking for suppliers, attended including waste contractors Veolia, highways company Volker and building maintenance business Medway Norse.

Andrew Cottrell a Manager with the Leadbitter Group who have been contracted to build the new £11million Abbey Court Special Educational Need school said: “This was a brilliant event where we received lots of contacts with local suppliers. We applaud Medway Council in seeking to provide opportunities for Medway businesses and are impressed at their target to spend 50 per cent of their contracts with SMEs.”

Medway Council is also committed to the development of apprenticeship opportunities with local firms with a range of schemes and offers a £2,000 subsidy to qualified employers.

Kerry Linley, Account Manager with apprentice specialists TrAC, said: “This is easily the best meet the buyer event we have attended. Medway Council clearly mean business when it comes to apprentices and we were very impressed by the target in their procurement strategy that for every £1 million contract suppliers must provide at least one apprentice. We look forward to working with Medway to provide young people opportunities across the Borough and Kent.”

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Residents and businesses are being reminded that they have until September 20th to comment on the plans for the future of Rochester Airport. The draft proposals could create 1,000 new jobs and improve facilities that would increase the airport’s heritage tourism potential. More

Medway Trading Standards are urging residents to draw up a list of traders they might need in a home emergency situation well before disaster strikes.

Posing as a consumer with a home emergency, the Medway Council team are conducting weekly online checks of more than 400 web links of nine types of home emergency trades from blocked drains to locksmiths.

Their websites are checked to see if response times have been exaggerated and if traders claiming to be local are genuinely based in the Medway area.

But despite searching for local traders officers found that only around 16 per cent were actually based in the Medway area with some being as far away as North Wales.

Several traders are also subject to further investigation for falsely advertising they were members of trade associations that they do not belong to including gas and electrical safety schemes. More

A public exhibition setting out a vision for the long-term future of Rochester Airport, including space for a new hi-tech business zone with the potential to create up to 1,000 jobs, takes place next week.

The two-day event, will be held next door to the 1930s built airfield at the Innovation Centre, off Maidstone Road, Chatham, from 10.30am to 8pm on Monday, 13 and Tuesday, 14 May. More

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