Agenda item

South Holland Economic Development Services

Appendix (enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Growth and Commercialisation and the Executive Director Commercialisation, which proposed a contractual arrangement with Opportunity Peterborough (a local authority owned company) to provide a range of services that would help to achieve the Council’s priority ‘to encourage the local economy to be vibrant with continued growth’.

 

The Executive Manager Governance advised Cabinet that the reference in paragraph 5.3 of the report to the Teckal exemption was inappropriate.  The value of the contract was well below the EU procurement threshold.  If the Cabinet was minded to award the contract to Opportunity Peterborough, on the basis of the specialist nature of the contract, it had the power to waive the usual tendering requirements pursuant to paragraph 3.1 of the Contract Procedure Rules.

 

The Cabinet considered the proposal in detail, discussing a number of issues, but in particular:

 

·         Whether the arrangements would bring sufficient extra new business into the area to provide value for money.  The Authority had a very successful Inward Investment Team, but working with Opportunity Peterborough would provide the expertise needed to attract major international companies to the area. 

·         Whether Opportunity Peterborough may see South Holland District Council as a lower priority than Peterborough and not, therefore, prioritise the South Holland area.  A Service Level Agreement would detail what would be expected from the agreement, and that there would be clear expectations.  Regular reviews would also be undertaken to ensure that targets were being met.

·         Spalding and Holbeach should not be the only areas to be considered for investment.  Peterborough had an influence over the whole South Holland area, and all parts of the district should be open and promoted for investment.

·         Branding of South Holland was important and this would be considered as part of discussions moving forward – the area would not be swallowed up under the Opportunity Peterborough umbrella.

·         Whilst it was important to pursue this and bring new larger investment into the area, the work of the Inward Investment team would still continue and encouragement and retention of existing businesses would remain a priority.

 

Councillor Coupland wished to abstain from the decision and requested that this be noted.

 

DECISION:

 

a)    That approval be given for Opportunity Peterborough to provide Economic Development Services for South Holland District Council for a period of up to two years, with a full review at six months and twelve months;

 

b)    That the Executive Director (Commercialisation), in consultation with the Portfolio Holder Growth and Commercialisation, be given delegated authority to agree the final terms of the arrangement and to approve a robust Service Level Agreement and governance arrangements;

 

c)    That the six month review, referred to in (a) above, include the Head of Economic Strategy and Partnerships at Opportunity Peterborough attending a meeting of the Performance Monitoring Panel, prior to consideration of progress by the Cabinet. 

 

d)    That the new arrangement for Economic Development Services be funded through existing agreed service budgets; and

 

e)    That an exemption to the Council’s procurement rules be authorised in view of the unique and specialist nature of the proposal.

 

(Other options considered:

·         Agree recommendations with no amendments; or

·         Procure a contract with an alternative provider; or

·         Do nothing.

Reasons for decision:

·         To provide an enhanced level of service within the existing cost envelope for the service, and enable the Council to benefit from additional resource and expertise; and

·         To support regeneration and the implementation and delivery of major employment and housing sites within the District).

Supporting documents: