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Competitive Tendering, Kirklees

Volume 165: debated on Wednesday 17 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made by Kirklees metropolitan council in implementing the provisions of the Local Government Act 1988 in relation to compulsory competitive tendering of (a) refuse collection, (b) cleaning of buildings, (c) other forms of cleaning, (d) catering in schools and welfare roles, other forms of catering, (f) grounds maintenance, and (g) repair and maintenance of vehicles; what are the projected annual savings as a result of competitive tendering for each of the services; and when the successful tenderers will commence operating each of the services.

The dates by which local authorities are required to expose their services to competition under the terms of part I of the Local Government Act 1988 are prescribed in the Local Government Act 1988 (Defined Activities) (Competition) (England) Regulations 1988 (SI 1988 No. 1371). The dates by which Kirklees metropolitan borough council is required to expose services to competition in this way, and the progress in implementing those requirements is as follows:

  • (a) refuse collection—the date prescribed was 1 January 1990. I understand that the contract was awarded to the authority's Direct Service Organisation (DSO) and commenced on that date. The authority estimate that net savings of approximately £½ million or 10 per cent. have been achieved;
  • (b) cleaning of buildings—the date prescribed is 1 January 1991 and I understand that the authority is taking steps to ensure that competition is introduced in accordance with that timetable;
  • (c) other cleaning—the date prescribed is 1 August 1990. I understand that the authority is currently considering applications from persons wishing to be included on its select tendering list and intends to commence the contract in accordance with the timetable;
  • (d) catering for purposes of schools and welfare—the date prescribed is 1 January 1992. I understand that the authority is taking steps to ensure that competition is introduced in accordance with that timetable;
  • (e) other catering—the date prescribed is 1 August 1991. I understand that the authority is taking steps to ensure that competition is introduced in accordance with that timetable;
  • (f) grounds maintenance—the regulations require that authorities should expose a first tranche of 20 per cent. of this work to competition by 1 January 1990, and subsequent tranches of 20 per cent. at six monthly intervals thereafter. I understand that the contract comprising the first 20 per cent. tranche was awarded to the authority's DSO and commenced on 1 January and that a further contract comprising an additional 20 per cent. tranche of work was also won by the DSO and will commence on 1 April. The authority estimate that no net savings will be achieved from those contracts;
  • (g) repair and maintenance of vehicles—the date prescribed in Regulations for competition was 1 August 1989. I understand that the contract was awarded to a private contractor and commenced on that date. The authority estimate that net savings of approximately £50k or 2 per cent. will be achieved.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the research projects commissioned by his Department in the past 10 years on rural matters, giving details of cost, publication and follow-up action on recommendations.

    Annual expenditure under the Department's countryside research programme and lists of publications resulting from it are given in the Department's periodic reports on research and development, published by HMSO, copies of which are in the Library. The individual research projects are listed in the annual surveys of research prepared for the countryside recreation research advisory group by the school for advanced urban studies at the university of Bristol, copies of which are obtainable from the school. It is usually left to the contractor to make the final report on a research project available to others on request. Such reports do not normally include recommendations for action.