Agenda item

Updates from previous meetings

·         Statement of Common Ground, Land at Stamford North – Cabinet decision

·         Advertising and sponsorship initiative – update from Chairman and Vice-Chairman


Advertising and Sponsorship Initiative


At its meeting on 14 June 2019, the Committee heard a call-in request made in respect of a decision that had been taken by the Cabinet Member for Finance. The decision covered three items, two of which were resolved at the meeting. The third area related to an advertising and sponsorship initiative where the committee decided not to uphold the call-in subject to a review of the process for the awarding of the contract by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee. The review was carried out by the Vice-Chairman, who provided the Committee with an update.


The Vice-Chairman explained that in undertaking the review he had met with the Director of Finance and the Assistant Chief Executive, Transformation and Change, reviewed a range of documents, received written references from other authorities that had worked with Publitas, read the internal options appraisal and reviewed the original scoping tender document that gave an indication of the other work Publitas had done for local authorities. Officers had also provided a timeline which indicated that the Council had started dealing with Publitas in October 2018. A review of the final report produced by Publitas was also undertaken; the report was detailed and set out everything the company thought it could do and the support it could provide to generate advertising income for the authority.


Reference was made to commercially sensitive documentation that set out how Publitas undertook its work and its business model including how it negotiated on behalf of local authorities, management of space and value that the company could add. The document also set out how Publitas would manage the contract on the Council’s behalf and the training that would be provided to the Council’s officers to support performance monitoring.


The Vice-Chairman concluded that a logical process had been followed in awarding the contract and that Publitas had a lot of experience producing good results for other local authorities. The Vice-Chairman considered that the references that had been received were very good and that the company possessed a lot of skills that the Council did not have available in-house. He also noted a gap was factored in halfway through the process which would provide Members and officers with an opportunity to review how the project was working. Clarification was given that the £40k fee was a one-off fee that would cover all of the work.


The Vice-Chairman outlined those areas where he felt improvements could be made in the future. Firstly, he felt that Members would have benefitted from additional documentation, including the timeline of events and the options appraisal. He also felt that sharing the written references would have been helpful. Overall, the Vice-Chairman indicated that he was happy with the process that had been followed but commented that the project would need to be scrutinised going forward.


Action Point


Ø  The Vice-Chairman to provide a written note to the committee summarising the findings of his review


Statement of Common Ground, land at Stamford North


At its meeting on 4 June 2019, the Committee recommended the draft Statement of Common Ground in respect of land at Stamford North to Cabinet for adoption. The Committee was notified that Cabinet agreed to adopt the statement at its meeting on 11 June 2019, subject to the addition of a delegation to the Cabinet Member for Planning to make any minor amendments following decisions by Rutland County Council and Lincolnshire County Council and to approve the final document.