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York Council Accused of Failing on Bulk Buy Savings

York Council 010513

2:04pm 10th February 2014
(Updated 8:35am 11th February 2014)

Conservatives in York are accusing the city council of not taking advantage of an opportunity to make bulk buy savings.

A group of councils in Yorkshire come together to bulk buy items such as office supplies and energy suppliers in a body called the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO). But the Labour-run council's cabinet member for finance, Dafydd Williams is said to have never been to a single meeting.

Now his Conservative counterpart George Barton is calling for Dafydd Williams to step down from his role on the body.

George Barton said “York has two representatives on the YPO, Cllr. Williams and I, with Cllr. Williams our sole voting member.  The YPO, although perhaps little known, takes major decisions on the purchasing of all variety of supplies and equipment on behalf of local authorities throughout the North, South and West ridings, with large associate members such as the City of Birmingham also involved. The combined requirements allow members to order in bulk and to reap considerable savings which can be passed on to our residents.

“Cllr. Williams has not attended a single meeting of the organisation since I have been a member nor has he ever even sent his apologies for not attending.  My concern over York’s lack of voting representation on this committee, which is about to spend tens of thousands of taxpayers’ pounds in creating a limited company, is such that I put a question to Cllr. Williams at our last council meeting, asking if he was serious about fulfilling his responsibilities on the YPO.  After one month, after prompting, I received Cllr. Williams’ less-than-illuminating answer:  a supercilious “yes”. 

“Labour are just not interested in the details that go into the responsible running of an authority- they much prefer playing politics and commenting on the national scene.  If Cllr. Williams if just too busy with his other duties he should step down and find someone to replace him on this organisation and then at least York could have a say over supplies purchased in our name.”

In response, the ruling Labour group have responded with Dafydd Williams telling Minster FM:

“I have had difficulties fitting these meetings in with other diary commitments. Council officers attend the meetings and I receive regular updates. I have already spoken to the Council Leader about another Labour member replacing me on this specific committee.”

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