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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  28th April 2014

 

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

 

Extension of School Bus Contracts

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Cabinet of the intention to extend 22 existing school transport contracts as allowed by the current agreement.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet approve  the extension of contracts for School Bus Services numbered P115, P132, P138, P139, S17, S3/P125, S35, S36/P104, S38, S40/351, S44, S45, S47, S50, S53, S55, S56, S57, S58, S59, S74 and S76 to July 2016 as identified in Appendix A

2.         That Cabinet approve to retender any contract identified under (1) above should the current operator decline the extension of contract.

3.         That Cabinet receive a further report in June 2014 outlining the results of the tender exercise for the contracts identified in Appendix C.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure ongoing school bus provision from September 2014 which the Council has a statutory / discretionary obligation to provide. The extensions are recommended due to on-going good service and competitive pricing.

2.         To ensure continued service provision for September 2014.

3.         To seek Cabinet approval for the award of school contracts commencing September 2014.

 

Background

2.         There are 29 existing school transport contracts that will continue due to contractual obligations (Appendix B), 22 contracts that are proposed for extension and 51 contracts will be tendered to start at the beginning of the 2014/15 academic year (Appendix C). The extension contracts were tendered in 2011 for 3 years with an option to extend those contracts by an additional 2 years (depending on benefits to the authority).

 

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         The school contracts proposed for extension (Appendix B refers) were awarded via previous tender submissions where they were weighted in line with the criteria reflecting an emphasis on price (70%) and then quality (30%) (Quality - 60% vehicle age and 40% whether the vehicles would be equipped with CCTV systems.). All vehicles are fitted with seatbelts. Seatbelt legislation dictates that from October 2014 all school transport contracts must have seatbelts.  It is considered that continuing these contracts for a further two years would offer excellent value for the Council.

4.         If Cabinet agree to extend the contracts as outlined atAppendix B , existing operators need to be advised of the decision to extend these contracts at the earliest opportunity. Neighbouring authorities are currently carrying out their tendering exercises so failure to inform the operators in a timely manner could result in them accepting other Council's routes. This would mean putting the contracts back out for tender and the likely possibility of higher costs to the authority.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

 

5.         The extension of contracts as detailed in Appendix A to this report can be accommodated in the 2014/15 financial budget. However, cost savings or otherwise cannot be identified until the full results of the tender process are known.

 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

6.         Bus provision assists in 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)

7.         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

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

11.      This report is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

12.      As this report affects all wards, individual members have not been consulted.  The relevant schools and parents will be advised of service providers before the end of academic year 2013/14, when all bus passes are provided.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

13.      Environmental and Economic Regeneration

 

Background Papers

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

 

Contact Officer

Kyle Phillips, Senior Transportation Officer, Tel. 01446 704760

 

Officers Consulted:

Legal Committee reports

Finance Support Manager

Chief Learning Officer

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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