(Councillors Biederman, Connett and Hannan attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).
The Cabinet considered the Report of the Strategic Director, Place (SPL/16/2) on the background to, process for and evaluation of offers for procuring and/or awarding a contract for the future delivery of the Youth Service in Devon. In accordance with the Council’s previous decisions, invitations to tender had been sought in June 2016 year for an employee-led public service mutual or other social enterprise from organisations able to demonstrate their objective was the pursuit of a public service mission linked to the delivery of the service; that profits would be reinvested and/or distributed on participatory considerations and that ownership of the organisation was based on employee ownership/participatory principles or required the active participation of employees, service users or stakeholders. The Report summarised the responses to the invitation to tender and the process of their evaluation leading to a formal recommendation for the award of a contract.
Members noted that the Council would retain responsibility for the Youth Service while commissioning the new organisation to deliver it on the Council’s behalf. Young people had been consulted upon the proposed changes and the options for its future through a variety of means, fora and representative groupings. The Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee had also been afforded an opportunity to comment on the draft specification and the mandatory questions for tenderers.
The Head of Service’s Report also incorporated an Impact Assessment relating to the possible impacts of the proposal - and, in particular, of divesting the youth service for Devon to an employee-led public service mutual or other social enterprise - which had been circulated previously for the attention of Members at this meeting in order that as part of its determination of the next steps in the process the Cabinet might have full regard to the responsibilities placed upon it to exercise its Public Sector Equality Duty, under s149 of the Equality Act 2010, where relevant. The Assessment highlighted the potential for any such divestment to increase social value as the provider of the youth service would be well placed to develop new, innovative partnerships - thereby increasing the social value it delivered. In addition, opportunities for staff to engage with community and voluntary organisations would increase levels of volunteering across Devon, the sense of community ownership of the youth service for Devon would increase and all these elements would lead to a growth in social capital. The Assessment therefore recognised the positive impact of the Strategy and that no unmanageable impacts had been identified.
It was then MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor Hughes and
RESOLVED that the press and public be now excluded from the meeting during subsequent discussion on this matter under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act namely, the financial or business affairs of tenderers for the provision or supply of council goods or services and of the County Council itself, and in accordance with Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, by virtue of the fact that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
[NB: The following part of the Cabinet’s proceedings on this matter took place, as summarised below, in accordance with the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 and, with the consent of the relevant Scrutiny Committee Chairman, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 during which the press and public were excluded; no representations having been received to such consideration under Regulation 5(5) of the aforementioned Regulations].
The Cabinet then received the Report of the of the Strategic Director, Place (SPL/16/3) on the award of contract, recommending the acceptance of the highest scoring tender, capable of acceptance, for the provision of the Devon Youth Service.
Following discussion of Report SPL/16/3 and having had regard to the information therein, the Cabinet was of the view that the press and public need no longer be excluded from the meeting during its final determination of the matter and:
It was then MOVED by Councillor Hart, SECONDED by Councillor Hughes, and
RESOLVED that the press and public be now readmitted to the meeting.
Following further comment and discussion and in replying formally to the debate the Cabinet Member for Performance & Engagement commended the recommendations now before the Cabinet.
The matter having been fully debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the Head of Service’s Report and/or referred to above having been considered, and balancing all of those factors and comments made at the meeting:
It was then MOVED by Councillor Parsons, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and
(a) that approval be given to the contract award for the Council’s Provision of Youth Service in Devon (Contract (CP1311-16) in accordance with the Report SPL/16/2;
(b) that, following expiry of the mandatory standstill period, Contract CP1311-16 – Provision of Youth Service in Devon be awarded to DYS Space Ltd; and
(c) that the County Solicitor be authorised to execute all necessary legal agreements required to be entered into by the Council in respect of this contract.
[NB: The Impact Assessment referred to above may be viewed alongside Minutes of this meeting and may also be available at: http://new.devon.gov.uk/impact/].