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Council Agrees to Back UK Steel Industry in Procurement Policy

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Neath Port Talbot Council has agreed to implement a policy to demonstrate its commitment to the UK steel industry.

The UK Steel Charter Policy outlines the practical actions the Council can consider when procuring steel for construction projects.

The UK Steel Industry launched the Charter back in May 2019 in order to maximise the amount of UK produced steel used in construction and infrastructure projects. It encourages organisations to sign up and commit to a range of procurement steps.

As part of its commitment, the Council has agreed to:

  • Pre-procurement planning to identify major projects where steel will be a critical component;
  • Advertise major projects to make the market aware of future opportunities;
  • Contractual provision in documentation to ensure supply chain information is provided for by the main contractors, including the advertising of supply chain opportunities;
  • Ensure specifications include provision as to how steel is specified and procured;
  • Address issues in respect of steel dumping and non-compliance with health and safety and social environmental legislation as part of its procurement exercises.

Councillor Rob Jones, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said:

“I am extremely pleased that we are able to implement the policy to strengthen our commitment to the UK steel industry.

“The steelworks in Port Talbot are pivotal to the local economy, being a major employer and key to local businesses which form part of their supply chain.

“We are committed to achieving sustainable procurement which not only achieves value for money, but also promotes positive outcomes for the economy, environment and society.”

The implementation of the Ppolicy follows the recent Swansea Bay City Deal announcement of a £58.7m Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth programme. With a targeted focus on the Port Talbot Harbourside area, one of the key elements of the programme is a National Steel Innovation Centre that will support the steel and metals industry in Port Talbot and Wales, while reducing its carbon footprint.

The policy also supports the Council’s sustainability and carbon footprint reduction drive with the encouragement of shortened and localised supply chains.