Local Government Third Party Spend 2019/2020 Almanac

Local Government across England collectively spends over £63bn with suppliers to deliver vital services to residents. From contracts with care-home providers through to IT companies, this expenditure is essential to delivering the outcomes we all need.

EY and Oxygen Finance, in collaboration, are really pleased to be supporting this first local authority spend Almanac, that brings together a view of expenditure across local government in England. Councils are still facing real-term cuts, whilst dealing with significant rises in demand for local public services. This situation has been further exacerbated by the current pandemic and the resultant impacts on the wider economy.

It is now more important than ever for local authorities to scrutinise the value they are getting from their third party spend. Whilst this document focuses on spend trends pre COVID-19, it does still provide a rare insight into the areas that are driving spend with external suppliers.

The Almanac provides a unique look into the spending behaviours of councils over the previous three financial years. It allows us to understand the need for national strategic suppliers, though highlights where we are seeing increases in costs and demand for services. This will help the sector to ask better questions and work with suppliers to support delivery of the outcomes that we all want.

We hope that all local authorities across England will look at the analysis within this Almanac and use it to compare and contrast their own trends in third party spend at a local level. In the New Year, we will be looking to follow up with an addendum, to provide a view on what has changed before and after the first lockdown in March 2020. We are hopeful this will provide an even more useful and relevant picture.

Local Government Third Party Spend 2019-2020 Almanac