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Somerset County Council spends with Russian company Gazprom

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SOMERSET County Council has spent more than £19,000 on a contract with Russian energy company Gazprom, figures reveal.

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

Somerset County Council accounted for £19,318 of expenditure under a contract with the firm last year.

A number of councils have now said they want to end contracts with Gazprom and are exploring alternative options, as attacks escalate after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week.

A spokesperson for the Association of Local Governments 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 consider what action they may want to take in light of UK sanctions and the current situation.”

The LGA added that it was considering how to bring the councils together next week to discuss their plans and agree common approaches.

Meanwhile, a senior government source has confirmed Health Secretary Sajid Javid is in talks with NHS England over terminating contracts with Gazprom.

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

“He also called for a broader review of any Russian role in the health service’s supply chains.”

The NHS accounted for £77m (72%) of public sector spending with Gazprom over six years.