Call In Contracting Out Services

Call In

Environmental Services

In our submission for the call in we raised several questions which hopefully will be answered tonight. We have been asked to further expand upon our reasons for concern.

We need to know what the expected outcomes of the option appraisal process are. For Labour they are the following:-

                Assessment of different models based on past, present and future risks, threats and     opportunities.

                Assessment that includes the need for flexibility as we live in rapidly changing times-     population growth, transformation in technologies, the possibility of unitary status.

                Clarity around service scope- what is in and what is out for each option.

We need to know what the expected outcomes of the commissioned service(s)

                Excellent Service

                Value for Money

                Good Employment Conditions

                Implementation of the Living Foundation Wage

                To Minimise Risk

It is our view that the three models chosen for evaluation are worthwhile but a fourth should have been added- shared services should have been a further option

Cabinet decision was made without enough evidence. I would like to know if any of the report by EUNOMIA was withheld for commercial reasons, none of it has been redacted. Is the full report in front of us? If so it is insufficient.

Technology and the pressure to reduce, reuse and recycle is changing the waste collection and waste disposal landscape. This is not acknowledged in the EUNOMIA report.

 It is referred to in the PWC report, on page 22 of the executive summary, 5th bullet point, “EUNOMIA has not factored in any transformation or development of the delivery model. The cost modelling does not reflect the fact that the cost of transformation may be different under each model”.

The PWC report goes on to say that the report does not adequately assess both risks and opportunities that each of the three options provides.

We are concerned that the driver behind the report was a deadline as noted in the PWC report on page 27. We note that working to deadlines can cause efficiency but it can also cause a risk in terms of quality of information, quality of modelling, and the quality of the judgements made. We are not satisfied that the assessment of risk and opportunities have been explored in the detail required to make a sound judgment of which option should be the preferred one.

It maybe that one contract or one option cannot adequately meet all the needs of an environmental service.

We note that the following are all part of Environmental Services-

Waste Collection and recycling

Street cleansing

Grounds maintenance

Tree maintenance

Maintenance of parks and allotments

Grass Cutting

Weed Spraying

Shrub Maintenance on the Highway

Services to NPH

I would caution against all of that being held in one contract. That would present a substantial risk and a substantial loss of opportunities. It gives us no flexibility or ability to respond to changing landscapes.

Please note in this regard that in the Issues and Choices paper 3.1.2 contradicts what is said at 3.1.11 and 3.1.17. We don’t appear to have the long list of service delivery options in front of us.

In Conclusion- we need a clean, safe and green town with efficiently run services, with excellent employment opportunities and terms and conditions- no more zero hour contracts. We need buy in from partners, residents and customers to help us reduce, reuse and recycle waste and keep our environment clean and free from fly tipping and litter. We need flexibility so that we can respond to changing economic, technological and social landscapes.

There is nothing in the EUNOMIA report that safely leads to the conclusion that environmental Services should be contracted out to an external provider. We ask the Over view and Scrutiny committee to call for a fuller options appraisal that will come back to this committee for further scrutiny.

The Call In was upheld

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