Russian company currently supplies council-owned buildings including leisure centres
Merton Council offices. Picture: Google Streetview
Merton Council wants to end its gas contract with Russian supplier Gazprom amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The company currently supplies gas to council-owned buildings ,including leisure centres, libraries and some schools.
A new £1 million contract is due to start on 1 April, but now the council is reviewing its position, and is in discussion with other energy suppliers.
The council said it had “no choice” but to enter in a contract with Gazprom, which has supplied gas for the authority for the past eight years, as it was the only bidder to respond during procurement of the contract.
Council leader Mark Allison said, “I have asked officers to urgently review options to bring this contract agreement to an end to show our unity and empathy with the people of Ukraine. Any small step we can take is a step that must be taken.
“The atrocities being carried out by Russia are horrific, and know I speak for everyone associated with Merton Council and the borough when I say we stand steadfastly with the people of Ukraine.
“I am also today writing to the government to ask for urgent changes to the laws around who councils can choose to do business with. Under law all council contracts are commercially-driven. We need the ability to refuse to do business with such firms based their moral or social suitability, not just their commercial offer.”
Merton Council said it will light up the Civic Centre in Morden blue and yellow for the “foreseeable future” in solidarity with Ukraine and fly the Ukrainian flag alongside the British flag from this weekend.
Gazprom was contacted for comment.
Tara O'Connor, Local Democracy Reporter
March 2, 2022
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