Down the Procurement Pub with Sheena, Paul, CCS, Andrea, MSDUK and Shura

Here are my Spend Matters US colleagues Sheena Smith and Paul Martyn, over this week from the US.  And having a beer. I mean, that hardly ever happens. We were somewhere in London, just for a quick one, can't actually remember where we were. Oh yes, the excellent Craft Beer Co place near Covent Garden.  Highly recommended for an amazing selection of cask ales and keg craft ales of every type imaginable.


Crown Commercial Service has published a 2016/17 Business Plan - hooray! It is their first one, I believe. We'll analyse it in more detail, but one aspect that has already gained some media attention is the move away from CCS obtaining some funding from the departments (the users) to more funding from suppliers. We've never had a big issue with a small fee payable by the market, but CCS will have to be careful not to push this too far, or scope for suppliers and buyers to work around the CCS route will increase. More next week.


Look, we try not to get involved with politics, but the Conservative Party can't really be stupid enough to elect Andrea Leadsom, can it? After a vote where the great mass of the dispossessed in our country showed how unhappy they are with the bankers, the capitalist exploitation of the working class, the inequality in our society ... after all that, is it sensible to even consider electing an ex-banker whose family have used dubious offshore loans, family trusts and the like? If you are a regular Private Eye reader, you will know that she has been featured regularly over the years for this sort of thing. Seriously, if Labour ever get a sensible leader, then they beat a Leadsom-led Tory Party at the next election.


Well done Mayank Shah. The founder of MSDUK, the organisation that looks to help minority-owned businesses win work from large buying organisations, has an article published here on the Huffington Post website. We wrote about the MSDUK conference this week here; but we must admit, getting published by the HP is perhaps a small step up from Spend Matters. Here is Shah from the article:

"The purchasing power of corporations can be distributed in ways that support supplier diversity and EMBs, in turn fuelling growth in poorer areas and supporting local communities. An inclusive procurement approach, where both private and public sector purchasing organisations actively seek to reach out and include all sizes and types of businesses, results in a fairer and more robust economy".


There's been a buzz around Manchester singer-songwriter Shura for a couple of years, and her album Nothing's Real is finally out this week. It's 80s-style, languid but tuneful synth-pop, saved from tweeness by a sense of sadness in the lyrics and a restraint in the arrangements that keeps it all tasteful and pleasantly understated. Tegan and Sara's recent work would be a comparator - whether it has enough oomph to make her a star, I'm not sure, but we like it a lot. Enjoy 2Shy, one of the stand-out tracks, and nothing to do with Kajagoogoo.


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