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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 1st July, 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

School Transport: Results of Tendering Exercise and Award of Contracts 

Purpose of the Report

1. To inform Cabinet of the results of a recent tendering exercise in respect of 38 school bus contracts as these are due for renewal to commence September 2013.

Recommendations

1. To approve the award of contracts for the School Bus Services as detailed in the Appendix A to this report.

2. If any of the preferred operators for each listed contract decline to accept the contract as offered, Delegated Authority be given to the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, Leader and Managing Director, to award the contract to the operator offering the next most advantageous tender.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To ensure ongoing school bus provision from September 2013 which the Council has a statutory / discretionary obligation to provide.

2. To allow the contracts to be awarded to commence September 2013.

Background

2. The school bus tendering exercise was undertaken to ensure continued operation of 38 school bus routes.

Relevant Issues and Options

3. Twenty nine operators submitted tender returns but not all operators tendered for all contracts. Analysis of the tender submissions were weighted in line with the criteria reflecting an emphasis on price (70%) and then quality (30%) (Quality - 60% vehicle age and 40% on whether the vehicles would be equipped with CCTV systems.). All vehicles are request to be fitted with seatbelts. In this regard, it should be noted that seatbelt legislation is being amended and strengthened from October 2014. 

4. As a consequence of the analysis of the submitted returns not all of the contracts are awarded to the company submitting the lowest price. Certain operators who may be awarded contracts currently do not provide transport for the Vale of Glamorgan Council and background checks will need to be undertaken. In addition, some of the existing operators need additional checks to ensure that they can provide all contracts awarded based on the details in their tender submission.

5. Attached at Appendix A are summarised details of the tender results with recommendations for the award of contracts. Contract lengths vary between one and three years dependent on circumstances specific to each contract. 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6. The award of contracts as detailed at Appendix A to this report can be accommodated within the current budget. On the basis of all preferred operators accepting contracts, there will be an overall saving of approximately £560 per day which represents a fall over current prices for these specific contracts. Actual expenditure will be dependent on whether the various operators wish to accept the contracts as offered but it is hoped that the new contracts will result in an overall saving to the Council. Any revisions to Appendix A will be presented to Cabinet.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

7. Bus provision assists sustainability and helps to reduce car use for the journey to school and helps to reduce traffic congestion.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8. The provision of school transport is a statutory obligation under current legislation based on the mileage criteria of three miles for secondary pupils and two miles for primary pupils. Certain services also cater for fare paying school pupils and these services are registered as local bus services under the terms of the Transport Act 1985.  

Crime and Disorder Implications

9. These services will provide a safe environment for children to travel to and from school.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10. The provision of a well organised school bus network helps to increase mobility and accessibility.

Corporate/Service Objectives

11. To provide a reliable, efficient and value for money school bus network.

Policy Framework and Budget

12. This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

13. As this report affects all wards, individual members have not been consulted. The relevant schools and parents will be advised of new service providers before the end of academic year 2012/13, when all bus passes are provided.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

14. Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Ceri Edwards, Senior Transportation Officer, Tel. 01446 704760

Officers Consulted

Legal - Committee Reports

Finance: Head of Accountancy & Resource Management - Alan Jenkins

(Procurement) Policy Officer: Rosalie Malcolm

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Service

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