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Girsecutting


petergear
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I still cant belive the Council has a company out with Shetland cutting the girse.

 

Making cuts where it is easiest to do so i suppose, probably assuming that people will not pick up on the "economy" service, and totally disregarding the money a local service provider re-invests in the community.

 

Am i not right in thinking that contracts tendered from the SIC are supposed to be assessed on value and not just cost? In which case, saving a few thousand to get a poorer service, with no return benefit to the community is not compliant with their own guidelines.

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The "Local Government in Scotland Act 2003, Best Value Guidance" provided by the Scottish Executive, states (in chapter seven) that a local authority which secures Best Value will be able to demonstrate:

 

"consideration of the social, economic and environmental impacts of activities and decisions both in the shorter and longer term".

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The number of people employed and the machinery used is not relevant to the contract, Mr Emptage said, nor is the effect on local jobs

This is the line that worries me... I think it's an utter disgrace for any council officer to say this in any context.

 

Yes and no. I understand what you mean but I think he has just made a bad job of wording his response. What he meant was - there is a list of criteria to which he and other council officials can take in to account when offering work out to tender. In this instance local jobs was not on that list so he has no choice........its not directly his fault, he is following rules.

 

I don't think the council can insist on local firms or local workers......there's legislation to stop discrimination of all kinds (unfortunately in this case).

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Yes and no. I understand what you mean but I think he has just made a bad job of wording his response. What he meant was - there is a list of criteria to which he and other council officials can take in to account when offering work out to tender. In this instance local jobs was not on that list so he has no choice........its not directly his fault, he is following rules.

 

I don't think the council can insist on local firms or local workers......there's legislation to stop discrimination of all kinds (unfortunately in this case).

I agree 100% with de Marvin, and I realised this when I read the article, but surely the best value guidelines would also apply over and above the contract criteria(?) Obviously correct me if I'm wrong. :wink:

"consideration of the social, economic and environmental impacts of activities and decisions both in the shorter and longer term".
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I agree 100% with de Marvin, and I realised this when I read the article, but surely the best value guidelines would also apply over and above the contract criteria(?) Obviously correct me if I'm wrong. :wink:
"consideration of the social, economic and environmental impacts of activities and decisions both in the shorter and longer term".

 

I'm afraid that line can be taken to mean lots of different things, its a "catch all".

 

I think a better criteria for assessing the contract would be the Working Time Directive. I don't understand how they can use only two vans to replace 6 and keep within EU rules on how many hours you can work and also things like minimum wage (long hours divided by salary can equal low pay). The SIC official should have questioned this. If the new contractor can demonstrate that he can complete the contract within the employment law then fine.......if not, the SIC shouldn't be awarding contracts to illegal operators.

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It's a dammed disgarce. All for the sake of a few quid, certainly not bset value for Shetland, but probably for Newtown Mearns.

 

I would love a council oficer to explain the rationale behind this contract award.

Well, apparently they have to take the lowest price regardless of who they feel would be best for the job. Thats a real shame. Maybe if they saved a bit on councillors expenses they could spend a few more quid on decent grass cutting. It is pretty much an essential service after all.

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The main thing I object to is that the SIC have accepted a programme from the new contractor which is in direct contradiction to the specification laid out clearly in the tender documentation. They were supposed to have their first "round" completed by May 12th (a week ago), with commencement in mid-April. Yet the council officers accepted a schedule showing the North Mainland and Isles contracts only commencing next week, in other words, two weeks after the latest date by which it had to be completed.

 

Also, the litter bins aren't being emptied (so far as I can tell?), nor do they seem to be litter-picking, nor sweeping hard surfaces, nor doing anything in the planted areas (these are all supposed to have ten visits over the summer). The grass is being permitted to grow above the maximum growth-height in many places (due to their not cutting it low enough in the first place, and not getting back to do the second cut quickly enough).

 

The SIC seem to be happy to let them off with all this so far.

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It's a dammed disgarce. All for the sake of a few quid, certainly not bset value for Shetland, but probably for Newtown Mearns.

 

I would love a council oficer to explain the rationale behind this contract award.

Well, apparently they have to take the lowest price regardless of who they feel would be best for the job. Thats a real shame. Maybe if they saved a bit on councillors expenses they could spend a few more quid on decent grass cutting. It is pretty much an essential service after all.

 

This may be the case today, I am not fully up to date with current contract guidelines, but it was not a few years ago. I have first hand knowledge of a tender being submitted for a council contract, which was the lowest by some margin, but it was rejected. Instead the contract was awarded to a firm who'd tendered for it along with several similiar and related contracts (the only firm to do so) and had submitted an all inclusive price for the lot. Unfortunately in the material the council provided, tenders for multiple contracts were only stated as total amounts, they were not broken down to represent individual contract prices in multiple contract bids, so making comparisons of prices tendered was difficult. However, based on comparing different bids from unsuccessful tenderers for one or more of the individual contracts against the total price submitted by the successful tenderer, it did give the impression that the successful tenderer's prices were in the upper end of the range submitted, if not at the top. Which led to the conclusion that the contract had not been awarded with price as a top priority, rather the convenience/efficency of only having to deal with one firm as opposed to several, or perhaps prior experience of the firm concerned was a greater deciding factor.

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