Milton Keynes Council spent more than £1,500 on 2017 contract with Russian-owned Gazprom

Figures show it was a tiny portion of the total public sector spend in the UK with Gazprom between 2016 and 2021

By Reporter
Friday, 4th March 2022, 2:39 pm
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 2:40 pm

Milton Keynes Council spent more than £1,500 on a contract with Russian-owned energy firm Gazprom according to new figures, although it was a tiny portion of a huge £107m public sector spend in the UK.

Provided by data firm Tussell, the figures show the total public sector spend in the UK with Gazprom between 2016 and 2021 was £107 million – and more than a quarter (£29 million) was from local authorities.

Milton Keynes Council accounted for £1,658 of the spend through a contract with the firm in 2017.

Gazprom. Photo: RADAR

Suffolk and Manchester were the councils most reliant on Gazprom, each spending more than £4 million within the last six years.

A number of councils have now said they want to end contracts with Gazprom and are exploring alternative options, as attacks intensify following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the conflict which has been condemned by leaders around the world.

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association said: “Councils are deeply saddened by the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine and are following the situation closely.

“It is up to individual councils to decide how to act locally but, like many organisations, they will be reviewing what action they might want to take in light of UK sanctions and the ongoing situation.”

The LGA added that it is looking at how to bring councils together next week to discuss their plans and agree shared approaches.

Meanwhile, a senior government source told the PA news agency that Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been in talks with NHS England over ending contracts with Gazprom.

The source told PA: “Sajid has spoken with NHS England and been clear that trusts need to stop using Gazprom as a supplier.

“He has also requested a wider review of any Russian role in supply chains across the health service.”

The NHS accounted for £77 million (72%) of the public sector spend with Gazprom over six years.

Newcastle Hospitals Trust topped the list with a spend of £14.9 million, followed by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust at £8.1 million and the Countess of Chester Hospital Trust, which spent £5.2 million.

Mr Javid's request comes after Lord Simon Stevens, former head of NHS England, told the House of Lords that “decarbonising the health sector will take pound notes out of the hands of dictatorial regimes that are engaged in acts of aggression”.