Let's first recognise that in local government politicians should shape the agenda; that's what democracy is all about. Although UKIP have not yet taken control of a council that does't mean they can't affect change.
The first area I would anticipate an impact will be if a UKIP member secures the portfolio which covers procurement - given the strategic significance of that portfolio to UKIP's strategic intent, that should be one of their core political objectives. The second impact would be if UKIP members secure a strong position on Resources Overview and Security. If either of these roles is secured expect UKIP members to reflect their manifesto - and, if my experience of local government is a reliable indicator, expect the euphoria of the Thursday's results to bring the confidence and boldness to make a quick impact, even though there will be a lack of understanding.
So what can we assume based on the UKIP Manifesto?
- Greater focus on cost reduction as opposed to service cuts;
- Resistance to the EU procurement regulations;
- Resistance to awarding contracts to non-UK businesses;
- Cynicism over the effectiveness of previous initiatives designed to support local businesses;
- Questions on how to make it easier for local businesses to tender for contracts;
- Challenge on the need to embed equalities in procurement;
- Environmental procurement resisted;
- A resurgence in the desire to support third sector organisation;
- Cynicism that the procurement manger is committed to serving the citizenry as opposed to their own self-interest;
- Expect a need to justify existing procurement staff numbers;