Report of Corporate Director for Communities, Environment and Resident Services
Eddie Curry, Head of Greenspace and Natural Environment, presented the report and stated the following:
(i) the Greenspace and Natural Environment Service provide a number of statutory duties in relation to allotments, biodiversity and burials (outlined in appendix A to the report) and deliver essential health and safety works, most notably in relation to Arborecultural and playgrounds works.
(ii) approval is being sought to put procurement arrangements in place for a number of essential activities (detailed in appendix B to the report), including:
· Arborecultural Services – Ash Dieback removal and planting programme, Arborecultural contractors, Inspections, Epicormics removal, traffic management;
· Landscape Services – construction materials, contract gritting service salts, specialist vehicle hire;
· Cemetery and Crematoria Supplies – burial chambers, memorial items and materials, storage and Crematoria servicing;
· Grounds Maintenance Services – small plant and machinery, weed control and hedge cutting, IT systems;
· Horticultural Supplies and Services – plants, trees and shrubs, turf, bedding plant bulbs, plugs, seeds and compost, ancillary items;
· Single Supplier Contracts for Playgrounds and Parks – play area maintenance of branded spare parts that can only be purchased from the manufacturer of specific play areas and annual Green Flag awards from Keep Britain Tidy a specific national accreditation scheme;
· Parks and Open Spaces – play area safety surfacing, landscape contractors and general works for fixtures and fittings repairs;
· Professional Services – signage, design, web.
(iii) a forecast of planned work and reactive maintenance activity has been completed for a 4-year period and, to ensure continuity in procurement compliance for delivery in future years, new contracts and framework arrangements will be required to be put in place throughout the 4-year period.
(iv) It was proposed that a number of procurement options be adopted to provide the most efficient and cost-effective route, (detailed in appendix B to the report), including:
· In-house delivery;
· Call-off from existing NCC Frameworks or Contracts;
· Accessing 3rd Party Frameworks such as ESPO & CCS where these are proven to offer Best Value;
· Dynamic Purchasing system (DPS). Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) is unlike a traditional framework for the supply of goods, works or services. A DPS is anelectronic system which suppliers can join at any time. An 'open market' solution, a DPS is designed to give buyers access to a pool of pre-qualified suppliers;
· Direct award for contracts only available from a single supplier in the case of Green Flag Awards, trade association memberships and specialist branded spare parts for playground equipment maintenance where only spare parts from specific manufacturers can be used;
· Multiple quotations for different lots within one category;
(v) All procurement activity would be awarded through conducting processes in accordance with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules and requirements under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. These processes would ensure the most suitable route to procurement was adopted, delivering Best Value.
(a) spend of £20.197m (as detailed in appendix B) in line with Councils’ Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) approved budgets and capital spend approvals;
(b) procurement and subsequent award of contracts (as set out in appendix B) to a maximum value of £18.855m, in accordance with Public Contract Regulations and NCC Contract Procedure Rules
(2) note that an exemption from Contract Procedure Regulations 18.55, for a direct award of £0.166m to single suppliers (as detailed in appendix B) has been approved by the Section 151 Officer;
(3) delegate authority to the Head of Greenspace and Natural Environment Service to call off from the frameworks, listed in appendix B, over a period of four years (2023/24–27/28).
Reasons for recommendations
(i) Procuring contracts and frameworks will allow the Greenspace and Natural Environment Service to continue to compliantly deliver essential services including delivery of commercial contracts, statutory services and essential health and safety works.
(ii) The identified benefits of putting these arrangements in place are:
· Supports delivery of the council’s behavioural expectations and core values which sets expectation for delivering on time, on budget and to agreed quality standards, as well as guaranteeing Best Value and the effective use of resources.
· Ensures the Council complies with its duty of Best Value by going through a competitive process to evaluate price and quality.
· Establishes a 4-year approach to procurement which will serve to ensure suitable and efficient procurement processes.
· Ensures collaboration on procurement within the department and across the council to benefit from greater efficiencies and cost effectiveness.
· Enables the delivery of external grant funded schemes in line with the timescales of the award, such as Natural England, Biodiversity.
· Ensures value-for-money delivery model with no fixed financial commitment in the use of frameworks.
· Delivers a highly flexible and responsive structure to award the most suitable route to market.
· Delivers economies in accessing established third-party frameworks where viable.
· Enables strong governance through a Service’s Procurement Board to monitor performance and manage risk.
· Enables the ability to develop relationships with a core set of framework and contract providers to the Council and ensure effective management through such relationships.
Other options considered
(i) Not to let contracts - Not having compliant spend approval or procurement measures in place will adversely affect ability to engage with suppliers and contractors to deliver essential services. There would be no effective means to demonstrate compliance with financial and procurement regulations. This could lead to significant delays or interruptions in service delivery which could carry risk to life in the case of health and safety works, reputation damage and non-delivery of income targets.
(ii) To not progress new contract and framework arrangements will jeopardise funding and Nottingham would lose out on the opportunity to invest in the City’s greenspaces and natural environments.