Big contracts awarded by York Council

£77,000 for Coppergate camera enforcement

The York Council has let some substantial contracts recently. One of the most controversial is likely to be to Ltd for “Parking Services back-office system monitoring of cameras and issuing of notices” for the Coppergate bus lane The companies had office is on the Embankment in London. The size of the contract – which is for one year only – suggests that fine income would have  to rise considerably if taxpayers are to avoid an unexpected bill.

Less controversial may be the award of a contract for the collection of recycling materials in the City centre. The 5 year contract is valued at £1/2 million, runs for 5 years and has been awarded to the Friends of St Nicholas Field.

£60,671 will be spent on caring for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and £362,263 refurbishing Sycamore House mental health centre,

Other recent contract awards have included:

Ranger Hut, Hull Road Vine House Construction Ltd £24,057.41
Haxby Library Demolition MGL Demolition Ltd £48,000.00
Provision of supported care for UASC Sash £60,671.00
Sycamore House Refurbishment F Parkinson Ltd £362,263.00
School Crossing Patrol Signals Tender Dynniq UK Ltd £77,394.80
Structural and visual assessments of City of York Councils Street lighting assets MPH Inspection Services Ltd £150,000.00
Support for Street lighting fault repairs (MEWP) Bouygues UK Limited £30,000.00
ReSurfacing Schemes February 2017 CEMEX UK Operations Ltd £266,011.01
Analysis Software and Licence for Non-Domestic Rates Inform CPI Ltd £45,000.00
Provision of on-line lessons from a virtual school to provide teaching for young people out of school Nisai Virtual Academy Ltd. £10,000.00
ReSurfacing Schemes March 2017 – Tender2 Cemex UK Materials Ltd £78,464.20
Carr Junior School Reroof Works – Phase 2 S Voase Builders Limited £103,376.88
Community Protection APP Support, Maintenance and Licence Multiple award (2) £35,204.00
Westfield Primary School Roofing Watershed (Roofing) Ltd £14,058.00
Lift Repairs Maintenance Contract Northern Elevator Ltd £94,788.00
Support and Subscription for VMWare Phoenix Software Ltd £8,865.00
ICT NetApp Support Softcat plc £8,620.00
Google Maps API for Business Multiple award (2) £15,500.00
WYTF Outer Ring Road upgrade – Land Surveyor Services for the North York Outer Ring Road Junction Upgrade Project Valuation Office Agency – District Valuer £83,280.00
Citrix XenApp Software and Licences Insight Direct (UK) Ltd £53,975.00
Marjorie Waite Court Extra Care Extension – Designer Shuttleworth Picknett and Associates LLP £70,860.00
Contract to supply manpower + vehicle & including tools and equipment to carry out basic maintenance operations (minor civils works) 1st April 2017 – 31st July 2017 Multiple award (3) £50,000.00
Pre Purchase Agreement CYCProcurement £4,178,975.32
York City Centre Recycling Collection Service Friends of St Nicholas Fields £500,000.00
Fujitsu M10-1 Server Esteem Systems Plc £21,674.00
Point of Care Testing (POCT) Alere Limited £90,000.00
Trading Standards Interlink  City of York Council  £3,909.25
Coppergate: Bus Lane Enforcement parking services system Limited £77,000.00
HGV Driver Certificate of Professional Competence Training Multiple award (2) £16,660.00

Most of the recent contract awards are dwarfed by those let in earlier years. The most valuable awards on the contracts register are:

Childcare Voucher Salary Sacrifice Scheme Fideliti Limited 01/04/2014 £2,400,000.00
Short Breaks Service For Adults with a Learning Disability Lifeways Community Care £2,001,990.34
York Central Financial and Commercial Consultancy KPMG LLP 01/07/2016 £2,000,000.00
Older People’s Community Support Service Age Uk York 20/12/2016 £1,765,000.00
Provision of Marketing, tourism and Business Development services Make it York Ltd 02/04/2015 £1,700,000.00
ENProcure Re-Allies Materials Framework – Distribution and supply of plumbing and heating materials Lot 2 PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies 01/04/2016 £1,614,282.00
Management & Maintenance of Public Toilets Healthmatic Ltd 01/05/2014 £1,600,000.00
An Advocacy Hub York Mind 14/10/2016 £1,500,000.00
Building Services Subcontractors – Package 1 Multiple award (5) 01/11/2016 £1,400,000.00
Provision of Local Registered Bus Services Yorkshire Coastliner Ltd 06/01/2013 £1,400,000.00

The Contracts register (most Councils) can be viewed by clicking here


York Council set to plunge further into debt

It looks like the York Council will be borrowing more money next year.

Hopes that the new administration would avoid using the £9 million reserved to subsidise the York Central project have been dashed and £900,000 remains in the budget for works to the Guildhall.  £15.714 million is earmarked for expenditure on the community stadium project.

How the debts are forecast to ncrease

How the debts are forecast to increase

Over £40 million of expenditure is being slipped from the current year into 2016/17 according to papers which will be discussed next week

The additional expenditure means that around 13% of the Council taxes that York residents pay will in future be soaked up by capital and interest repayments.

In total Councillors are being asked to add £5.5 million to the City’s debt burden next week.

A full list of expenditure proposals can be viewed by clicking here



York Council moves on vacant Chief Executive post

With the Chief Executive post at the York Council due to become vacant on 31st July, the Council is set to appoint a selection team as it bids to find a successor to Kersten England (right)

Chief Executive Kersten England will leave the York Council in July.

Chief Executive Kersten England will leave the York Council in July.

The Council will initially look to make an interim appointment from within its existing pool of senior managers

In a break with tradition, other non Council employees will also be able to apply to be considered for the temporary post. The post could continue in existence for as long as 9 months.

On this occasion the new Council has obviously decided not to go down the (expensive) route of using a consultant to fill the interim post.

In a report to a meeting taking place on 8th June the Council says,

To ensure that external candidates can also be considered for the opportunity the post will be advertised on City of York Council Jobs Website, this approach would mean there would be no additional recruitment costs. It is proposed that the opportunity will be advertised on the 8th June with a closing date of 19th June and that interviews are held on the 26th June 2015”.

Any appointment would be subject to ratification by the full Council.

Pay for the post is expected to be around £130,000 a year (pro rata)

Interviews would be conducted by a 3 person panel representing the main political groups on the Council.

It is anticipated that a restructure of the senior management team at the Council will take place before a new permanent Chief Executive takes up post early next year.


Labour lose some influence on York Council – alternative approach proving illusive

As expected, the balance of power on many York Council committees swung away from Labour at a York Council meeting this evening.Lendal bridge notice

As required by law, the membership of scrutiny, planning and other committees will reflect the proportion of the seats held by the different parties on the Council.

The chairs of scrutiny committees will be taken by opposition Councillors.

Amongst the appointments, Andrew Waller will chair a committee that deals with Economic and City Development, Ann Reid will chair the Planning Committee and Nigel Ayre will head the influential Audit and Governance Committee.

But the key Cabinet posts will all continue to be held by Labour. Worryingly the Council chose not to reduce their delegated powers.

In effect this gives a huge advantage to the 8 full time Labour Councillors who will continue to hold the posts. 

York residents will expect the various groups on the Council to put the City first and come up with a workable system which will see the Council through to the local elections next May

It will need to be a transparent system which can also address the many problems which have increasingly dogged York in recent months.

Debts are mounting and time is running out


York Council must seize opportunity for change

The proposals for tonight’s York Council meeting have been published

committeeThey show the opposition parties seeking to exploit the new influence given to them by York voters.
Not only are committee memberships being restructured to reflect the new balance on the Council (Labour loses its majority on these committees), but – rightly – scrutiny, planning and other major committees will now have opposition chairs.
This will place a welcome break on the powers of the residual Labour Cabinet.
However, in other respects, the proposals may seem by many to be either perverse (e.g. Cllr Merrett continuing as the Chair of the Local Plan working group) or a failure to get to grips quickly with the organisational change that the City needs.
Under the published proposals, the Labour Cabinet remains intact.
People who have failed will continue to be paid high salaries for a further 6 months of failure.
More seriously, unless an emergency motion is placed on the agenda at the last minute, there are no proposals to control the delegated powers that Cabinet members and officials have.
Poor, impulsive, decisions – often taken behind closed doors – are the root cause of the shambles that has engulfed the York Council over recent months.
By now, many residents would have expected the various parties to have reached a decision on how the City will be governed in the run up to the “all out” elections in May.
There is a parallel with the situation in 2007, when no party emerged from the local elections with an overall majority.
Then the Groups published an agreement indicating how they hoped to take the City forward.
Something similar should, by now, have been published by the new Council.
Unless such a plan emerges over the next few hours, electors may wonder why they bothered voting.