Author Topic: Day Centres Closures Related to Dial A Ride Tender ?  (Read 1260 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6641
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Day Centres Closures Related to Dial A Ride Tender ?
« on: August 24, 2010, 08:30:21 pm »
Unhappy coincidences....

Today, The Swindon Advertiser ran this story about Cllr Peter Mallinson's plans to close the first couple of, (in what is likely to become a long list), day centres and other facilities.

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/8348502.What_will_happen_to_our_son_now_/

Quote from: Katie Bond

A FAMILY who underwent a five-year battle to get their disabled son into a day care unit have hit out at Swindon Council’s money-saving shake-up plans.

Brian and Susan Osbourn, whose 30-year-old son Gavin was the subject of the Adver’s Get Help for Gavin appeal in 2004, are furious that the council is consulting on proposals to close one of two day care centres in the town and instead hold sessions at different facilities on different days.

One of the centres the council is proposing to scrap is One Step Ahead, in South Marston Industrial Park, where Gavin, who has Down’s Syndrome and learning difficulties, has been going since the start of the year.

The council claims the move, which would save £850,000 over two years, would not only save money but also improve and update the service.


Coincidentally, it was only yesterday that I submitted the following Freedom of Information request to Swindon Borough Council:

Council Contracts to Transport Passengers To Day Centres & Schools Within The Borough of Swindon

Quote from: Geoff Reid
Dear Swindon Borough Council,

This freedom of information request pertains to contractors engaged by Swindon Borough Council, (e.g Swindon Commercial Services, Thamesdown Transport or similar), to transport adult passengers to day centres, (or similar facilities), and children with learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities to schools, respite units and other educational or care facilities within the Borough of Swindon.

I do not require any information about regularly scheduled publicly accessible bus services, regular 'school buses', the Swindon Dial A Ride Charity or taxi services used on an 'ad-hoc' basis by Swindon Borough Council.

1. How many and which companies does Swindon Borough Council have contracts with to regularly transport elderly, infirm and other adult passengers to day centres or other similar facilities within the Borough of Swindon?

2. How many and which companies does Swindon Borough Council have contracts with to regularly transport children or young people with learning difficulties and/or physical disabilities to schools, colleges, respite units and other educational and care facilities within the Borough of Swindon?

3. Which day centres or other facilities within the Borough of Swindon do these contractors regularly transport elderly, infirm and other adult passengers to?

4. Which schools, colleges, respite units, and other educational and care facilities do these contractors regularly transport children and young people with disabilities to?

5. How many drivers were employed on these contracts in the 2009/2010 period?

6. How many ancillery/support staff were employed on these contracts in the 2009/2010 period?

7. How many journeys to adult day centres or other adult facilities within the Borough of Swindon were undertaken in the 2009/2010 period ?

8. How many journeys to schools, colleges, respite units, and other educational and care facilities were undertaken in the 2009/2010 period ?

9. What was the cost to Swindon Borough Council of these contracts in the 2009/2010 period?

10. Which publicly elected 'lead' or 'cabinet member' of Swindon Borough Council did the portfolio responsibility for these contracts rest with during the 2009/2010 period?

11. Which publicly elected 'lead' or 'cabinet member'of Swindon Borough Council does the portfolio responsibility for these contracts currently rest with?

Yours faithfully,

Geoff Reid



You see, I've begun to wonder if the impending program of centre/facility closures are related to SBC's sudden insistence that the annual grant to Dial A Ride is 'illegal under European Law'* and that the services currently provided by the Dial A Ride charity must now be tendered.

If, for example, Swindon Borough Council's Direct Services Company 'Swindon Commercial Services', just happened to have a significant number of new minibuses and drivers suddenly standing idle after a number of day centres were suddenly closed to 'save money and increase choice for users', it would be very beneficial to SCS if it were to win the tender for provide transport services currently delivered by Dial A Ride.....

....but it doesn't hurt to ask the relevant questions to see if I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely.

It also doesn't hurt to think of the word  'sudden' as being politically misleading.  In Swindon Tory language 'Sudden' means 'about 12 months'  ;)








* Dial A Ride is 'illegal under European Law'*   This is the subject of another Freedom of information request submitted to Swindon Borough Council on the 22nd August 2010:

Legal Position On Grant Given To The Swindon Dial A Ride Service

Quote from: Geoff Reid
Dear Swindon Borough Council,

The Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council, (Councillor Garry Perkins), attended the annual general of the Swindon Dial A Ride charity on the 24th June 2010 to discuss the Councils intention to remove the annual grant given to that charity.

At the meeting, the Deputy Leader of the Council said:

"Our legal department has said that the transfer of funds [To Swindon Dial A Ride] currently is illegal under EU law"


My freedom of information request is as follows:

1. How many sources of legal advice regarding the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service have been used to determine or otherwise verify that the grant described as 'illegal' by Councillor Perkins is actually illegal under European law?

1.1 Please give the name and address of each source of legal advice used by Swindon Borough Council to determine the legality/illegality of the grant given to Swindon Dial a ride.

2. What advice was given given by the Swindon Borough Council Director of Law and Democratic Services,(or other members of the Swindon Borough Council legal department), to elected members of the council cabinet, or other elected members of the council, regarding the legality of the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service?

2.1 Which elected members of Swindon Council requested or received advice regarding the legality of the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service such advice from the Director of Law and Democratic Services and/or other directors & Officers of the Swindon Borough Council?

2.2 When was such advice requested or given?

3. Are the Director of Law and Democratic Services, other Council Directors and Officers qualified to advise elected members on matters of European law which pertain to the legality of the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service?

4. If external legal advice regarding the legality of the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service was sought by elected members, officers of Directors of Swindon Borough Council, then:

4.1 Did the Director of Law and Democratic Services, other Council Directors or Officers, or anyone acting on their instructions, advise any elected members of the council that such external legal advice should be sought?

4.2 Which elected members received such advice, from whom was it received and when was it given?

4.3 What was the advice?

4.4 Was the advice given in writing or orally?

4.5 Did the Director of Law and Democratic Services, other Council Directors or Officers, or anyone acting on their instructions, cause or instruct external legal advice to be sought regarding the legality under European law of the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service?

5 Did any elected members of Swindon Borough Council seek, cause or instruct that external legal advice regarding the legality under European law of the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service be sought? if so:

5.1 Which elected member of Swindon Borough Council sought, caused or instructed that such external external legal advice be sought?

5.2 What is the name and address of the Company(s) or organisation(s) from which legal advice was sought?

5.3 What advice was given by each?

5.4 What was the cost of obtaining external the external legal advice?

6. Please supply copies of any correspondence between the Cabinet Member for Sustainability, Strategic Planning, Property and Transport, (Councillor Peter Greenhalgh) and the Director of Law and Democratic Services which pertain to the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service.

6.1 Please supply copies of any correspondence between the Cabinet Member for Sustainability, Strategic Planning, Property and Transport, (Councillor Peter Greenhalgh) and other directors of officers of Swindon Borough Council which pertain to the grant given to the Swindon Dial A Ride Service.

Yours faithfully,

Geoff Reid

Offline Mr Bojangles

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • He said I dance now at every chance in honky tonks
EU Procurement Exam - Question 1
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2010, 11:04:48 am »
If EU procurement law requires SBC to put Dial A Ride services out to tender, how is it legal for the same SBC to award more than £30million worth of work to Swindon Commercial Services, which it owns, each year?

Discuss

Offline Outoftowner

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 204
  • Gender: Male
  • Hello !
Re: Day Centres Closures Related to Dial A Ride Tender ?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 11:54:38 am »
I do believe that £450K is also well over the limit at which a contract has to go out to tender. So, for instance, if you wanted to contract someone to provide a Wi-Fi service, you must first allow everyone in the EU a chance to bid. (Or just give the contract to a mate, whichever is more convienient.)

Offline Geoff Reid

  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6641
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Re: Day Centres Closures Related to Dial A Ride Tender ?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2010, 03:38:05 pm »
I do believe that £450K is also well over the limit at which a contract has to go out to tender. So, for instance, if you wanted to contract someone to provide a Wi-Fi service, you must first allow everyone in the EU a chance to bid. (Or just give the contract to a mate, whichever is more convienient.)

I think Bluh wangled his way around this one by claiming that SBC were not, in the case of WiFi, procuring, purchasing or commissioning a service.....

....although Councill Perkins, Deputy leader of the council and SBC's director on the board of Digital City (UK) Ltd, did say in cabinet that he expected SBC to save at least £140,000 a year by the council using the wifi network which has been, and continues to be promoted as a joint public/private partnership deal.

I think it could be successfully argued that a lot of dodgy political manouvring was used to frustrate normal due process and the chance of fair competition from competitors and/or other local businesses getting in the way of Cllr Bluh's arrangement with Mr Hunt.


Offline Geoff Reid

  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6641
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Re: EU Procurement Exam - Question 1
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2010, 03:48:56 pm »
If EU procurement law requires SBC to put Dial A Ride services out to tender, how is it legal for the same SBC to award more than £30million worth of work to Swindon Commercial Services, which it owns, each year?

Discuss

Ah, the infamous SCS 'Basket of work'.

Which, if it bids for the Dial A Ride tender, is about to become even larger.

As Swindon Borough Council have 'weighted' the the Dial A Ride tender at 50% on price and only 15% on service, I have little doubt that SCS would not win the tender if they bid?

At the 2010 AGM of the Swindon Dial A Ride Charity, Councillor Peter Mallinson told attendees that the tender weightings were as follows:

Price - 50%
Charging Policy - 15%
Services Provided - 15%
Quality - 15%
Added Value - 5%

I doubt even Peter Mallinson seriously believes this statement, even though it was him that made it:

Quote from: Cllr Peter Mallinson
"There is no reason why they (SDAR) shouldn't be the most successful bidder."

Both he, I and other readers can probably think of several hundred thousand reasons why SDAR is unlikely to win a tender weighted so heavily in favour of larger competitors.

 

Sorry, the copyright must be in the template.
Please notify this forum's administrator that this site is missing the copyright message for SMF so they can rectify the situation. Display of copyright is a legal requirement. For more information on this please visit the Simple Machines website.