Agenda item

Summing Up by Mover of the Call - In


Councillor J Green referred to the evidence the Committee had been presented with from various sources.  The consultants used in the PACSPE process had explained the qualitive and quantitive assessments that had been carried out.  Members had heard from Members of the Project Team and the Friends Forum, had been informed of the Gateway Reviews undertaken and had questioned the Accountant and the Auditor.


The Cabinet had taken its decision not to let the PACSPE contract but instead run the Parks and Countryside Service in house without any consultation with stakeholders or park users, who had made a huge contribution to the PACSPE process.  The point had been made in respect of inflation that it only applied to the preferred bidder not the Council.  Councillor Green informed that, of course, it applied to both sides. 


Councillor Green referred to the points made by the Leader of the Council, Councillor S Foulkes and accepted that he was genuine in what he had said.  There was a problem in asking tenderers to tender for a contract by adhering to a set of rules and then asking them to change them.  He considered that it was this that left the Council open to a series of risks.  Councillor Green referred, again, to the criticism levelled by the District Auditor that the Council was unable to demonstrate value for money in respect of the HESPE contract and the Cabinet’s fear of this happening again if the PACSPE contract had been let.  He reminded Members that he had spoken to the District Auditor in this regard; and that she had not seen all of the associated documentation.  She had not suggested that the Council should not go ahead with this procurement exercise, in the light of it.  She had only wanted to point out the risks of doing so.  With some thought, Councillor Green believed that it would be possible to mitigate risks and it was up to the Council to do this.  In the light of the points made and the information provided by the expert witnesses at this meeting, Councillor Green believed that he and his fellow Councillors had been right to call the Cabinet’s decision in.


There had been much talk of the HESPE contract during this meeting and Councillor Green was well aware of the lessons learnt from that process.  He was disappointed that the decision had been taken to cancel the Member Steering Group on the run up to this meeting.  The aim had been to provide Members with important information.  Councillor Green was also concerned about the Council not having essential data and the need identified for a management information system which would require additional investment and about the budgetary issues set out in the report.  He was still of the view that the Cabinet’s decision to refuse to award the PACSPE contract was not evidenced based and was unsafe and that no one appeared to have looked at how the contract had been put together or that the District Auditor’s views about value for money had not been tested. 


Councillor Green urged the Committee to inform the Cabinet that it had made the wrong decision over the PACSPE contract and request that it be reviewed, with a view to retrieving the situation, by make the right decision to let the contract to an external contractor.