Today, I have been re-elected as the Chair of the BlueLight Commercial company – an important initiative established last year.
When I became Chair of the National Commercial Board in November 2019, the case for change in procurement and commercial activity was strong. Policing was presenting a fragmented voice to the market. Best practice was not always being shared. Data wasn’t being used in its most effective way and it was clear that more could be done to boost our use of resources.
There is no such thing as “government money”, and so at the heart of all of this is ensuring that we use taxpayers’ money in the most efficient and effective way – to aid the fight against crime and antisocial behaviour, support Officers and Staff in giving them the tools they need and getting the most value out of every pound, in what remains a tough financial settlement.
The work that was being done prior to the establishment of BlueLight Commercial was showing the benefits of co-ordinated efforts on savings and commercial activity, but it was clear that the company was needed to drive this further.
And so with every Police and Crime Commissioner joining the company as members, the support of Chief Constables and strong backing from the Home Office with over £13m of funding over three years, BlueLight Commercial has a strong mandate for change to deliver commercial excellence within policing.
There have already been some early signs of success. The work in three keys areas is going to bear fruit very soon, with deals struck on fleet, in car CCTV and contingent labour. The social value tool which has been delivered is seen as market leading. Police Forces are approaching BlueLight Commercial to ask for support on local issues. Collaboration has been secured with fire and rescue services, non-Home Office forces and policing abroad.
And as word of our successes grow and people see what BlueLight Commercial can deliver, the company is being asked to lead other pieces of work including at governmental level.
We can all be tremendously proud of what the team has achieved in its first year and the year ahead will I’m sure lead to further savings and improvements in policing’s commercial capabilities. I thank Lianne and the team again for all their efforts and wish them continued success.