Issue - meetings

Parks and Countryside Service Procurement Exercise (PACSPE) - Outline Business Case

Meeting: 22/07/2010 - Cabinet (Item 84)

84 Parks and Countryside Service Procurement Exercise (PACSPE) - Outline Business Case pdf icon PDF 103 KB

See exempt appendices at the end of this agenda.



The Director of Technical Services presented a report seeking Cabinet’s approval to the recommendations made by Capita Symonds in the Parks and Countryside Service Procurement Exercise (PACSPE) Outline Business Case Report covering the following services: - parks, golf courses, cemeteries and crematorium, rangers, beach lifeguards, allotments, maintenance of highway verges and trees and war memorials.


Copies of correspondence received from trade unions representing the staff in Parks and Countryside Services expressing their opposition to privatisation of council services were circulated in advance of the meeting.


Mr Geoff Bradfield, Branch Officer for Wirral Unison, outlined the benefits of the “in house option” (option one) and the way this could be achieved through staff restructuring, machinery and equipment rationalisation, and flexible working to provide a more cost effective option. He paid tribute to the loyalty and professionalism of the current Parks and Countryside staff and asked Cabinet to return that loyalty and give serious consideration to their proposal.


Councillor Elderton thanked Mr Bradfield for his presentation. He commented that the Council was engaged in a transparent consultation process and the trade unions had been kept informed the development of the business case and options assessment.


The Leader paid tribute to the work of the all party PACSPE Members Group in guiding this work with the aim of achieving significant benefits in terms of value for money, better maintenance standards and improved quality, and improved facilities/infrastructure. He also commented on the important role that Friends’ Groups and users play in maintaining and enhancing parks and open spaces. 


Councillor Holbrook endorsed these remarks and advised Cabinet that the principle of Option 3 had been discussed with all three political groups at the Members Group meetings.


Councillor Holbrook asked to what extent the in house bid had been discussed. The Director of Technical reported that the most recent meeting of the group had decided against the in house bid but it was noted that the two Labour group members were not present at that meeting.


On a motion by the Chair seconded by Councillor Blakeley it was:


Resolved: That


(1)  the content of the Capita Symonds Outline Business Case report be noted and the recommendation to progress with the Option 3 service delivery model (Total Service with Single Provider) using the Restricted procurement procedure be noted and approved;


(2)  the creation of a new Parks Contract Manager post, subject to approval by Employment & Appointments Committee, funded from within existing resources, be endorsed. Also the use of external consultant support on a time limited basis to assist with the procurement exercise, be approved. In particular, the preparation of Invitation To Tender (ITT) documentation which it is recommended be met from the Efficiency Investment Budget initially up to a maximum of £150,000;


(3)  for the reasons stated in paragraph 7.5 of the report, an “in-house bid” for the subsequent PACSPE Contract is not supported.