A blooming liberty with council cash

Traditional daffodilsTories used to be defenders of the public purse. But the Conservatives in the Assembly are now demanding that price should no longer be the final arbiter over which supplier should gain a contract.

Instead, Welshness should come first. Presumably at any cost … at least, some of the time.

This principle which will have quite a few Thatcherites turning in their graves – or taking it out on poor secretaries in their Commons offices – was propounded by Tory leader Nick Bourne and ably supported by Darren Millar (Clwyd West).

The issue is supply of daffodil bulbs. Mr Millar raised “a serious point about how local authorities procure goods and services”. Currently, many buy from England or the Continent

He called on Welsh councils instead “to promote Welsh produce wherever possible.”

It looks a bit like a joke. And Swansea council indeed treated it that way. Their daffs come from Cornwall, but they “naturalise” themselves the following year !

Mr Bourne tried to claim that Welsh daffs are always cheaper – what, even when you’ve lost the contract to a cheaper supplier ?

Mr Millar argued about “road miles”, and said councils should be set central targets for local procurement. It’s surely enough to have Home Counties Tory MPs dropping their G&Ts. Where does it stop ?

Perhaps Mr Bourne reasons it’s worth a few upset G&Ts if it improves his party’s Welsh credentials.

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