The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder began by highlighting the importance of procurement for the Council, with around £14m charged to the revenue budget last year and significant Capital Expenditure. He noted that the report highlighted a challenging year due to Covid, with a number of projects being delayed and procurement staff being called into other areas of work. This resulted in reduced procurement activity and the changing of timescales reflected in the Procurement Schedule at Appendix 1.
He reminded Members that a revised Procurement Strategy had recently been approved at Council and adds an additional emphasis on Social Value.
He noted that there were 135 projects on the 2020/21 Procurement Schedule, with 76 carried forward to this year’s schedule. Section 3.7 highlighted many of the key projects that the procurement team was involved. Section 3.12 contained a spend analysis with the top 25 suppliers listed in Appendix 2, highlighting a need to focus on procurement in recruitment and spend relating large capital projects.
He concluded by noting that the update Procurement Schedule was included at Appendix 1 and approval by Council allowed officers to undertake the necessary contracting processes without the need for further approval.
Members expressed concern with Grange Lido at section 3.7.5 as figures showed the tenders as coming in significantly above budget and queried why this was the case. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder explained that costs were estimated before going out to tender, and with a significant cost increase for the building industry this was not surprising.
Members also raised concerns with projects being put on hold and requested a list of those projects. They were concerned that progress and promises would be lost as a result of further delays. The Finance and Assets Portfolio Holder responded by saying that he would expect a report on the impact of LGR on procurement to come to Overview and Scrutiny, Cabinet and Council and that he wasn’t aware of any Portfolio Holders agreeing to project delays at present. He noted however that some projects would need to be reviewed in light of future challenges, but ideally those with the least effect on residents.
RESOLVED – That:-
(1) the contents of the report and appendices be noted;
(2) Cabinet be recommended to approve the Procurement Schedule at Appendix 1.