Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Chief Officer – Finance, Performance and Change, submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to seek approval from Cabinet to modify an existing contract in line with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs), in order to allow for the continuation of housing related support services on Coity Road.
The Head of Partnership Services advised Cabinet, that following a procurement exercise in 2018, Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) currently has a contract in place with the Wallich, for the delivery of three housing related support projects located on Coity Road, Bridgend.
The contract BCBC has in place with the Wallich commenced on 1 April 2018 and expired on 31 March 2023. An option to extend the contract for a period of up to 24 months has been exercised with there being then no further option to extend.
He added that the current annual contract value was £358,170 and this was funded by BCBC’s Housing Support Grant. The total value of the contract was £1,790,850.
The Head of Partnership Services reiterated, that with the current contract in place with the Wallich due to expire on 31 March 2023, in line with BCBC’s Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs) a procurement exercise was required to ensure continued service provision on an ongoing basis.
On 1 December 2022 the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 came into force and a future report to Cabinet will outline the wider implications of the Act, but it is clear there will be implications for providers of temporary and supported accommodation. Some of these were explained in the report.
It was proposed that the procurement process which will be required to secure continued provision on an ongoing basis, be delayed and the current contract in place with the Wallich be extended, whilst the implications of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, were fully understood.
The concern of a procurement process beginning now, in order to secure a new contract by the 1 April 2023, was that detail set out in a Service Specification at this stage could quickly become out of date by potential Welsh Government changes. In addition, explained the Head of Partnership Services, there would likely be greater interest in a tender process from prospective providers once the implications of the Act were fully understood.
He concluded the report by advising, that if Cabinet approves the proposed modification of the existing contract, a procurement process will be undertaken in line with BCBC’s CPRs, in order to secure a new contract with a start date of 1 October 2023. To allow for a full procurement exercise to be undertaken including mobilisation of a new contract and consideration of TUPE, the process would begin around March 2023.
In terms of the report’s financial implications, the Head of Partnership Services confirmed that the cost of the contract modification detailed at paragraph 4.9 of the report, was within 10% of the current overall contract value. The cost of the modification would be funded by BCBC’s Housing Support Grant.
The Cabinet Member – Future Generations stressed the importance in BCBC understanding how the Act will change the current systems in place and the impact this will have on the sector, as there were unprecedented pressures with cases of homeless people. He hoped that we would have a procurement process in time, which ensures we have the best value for money in terms of support and an equal service to that which supports residents currently. He also commended the work of the Wallich in the support of the homeless.
The Leader asked if the Council could write to the Minister for Climate Change who is also responsible for Housing, in order to encourage Welsh Government to make any such policy changes as quickly as possible, so that we can progress the commissioning of the service in the not too distant future.
He also suggested that the three new local Ward Members be briefed on this issue, in order that they are able to understand the services being provided locally, as well as being aware of the support mechanisms that are in place.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet approved a modification in the form of a 6 month extension of the Contract BCBC has in place with the Wallich for the delivery of Housing Related Support Services on Coity Road.
Publication date: 23/05/2023
Date of decision: 13/12/2022
Decided at meeting: 13/12/2022 - Cabinet