Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 30 June, 2014
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 tendering exercise in respect of 49 school transport contracts which are due for renewal in September 2014.
1. Cabinet approve the award of contracts for the School Bus Services as detailed in Appendix A to this report.
2. Cabinet approve that if any of the preferred transport operators for each listed contract decline to accept the contract as offered, the operator offering the next most advantageous tender be awarded the contract.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To ensure ongoing school bus provision from September 2014 which the Council has a statutory / discretionary obligation to provide.
2. To enable the contracts to be awarded to commence September 2014.
2. The school bus tendering exercise was undertaken to ensure continued operation of 51 school bus routes, some of which are combined to form one contract.
Relevant Issues and Options
3. There were 49 school transport contracts tendered for and it is proposed to award 45 of the 49 contracts. Three contracts (numbered P65, P96 and P124) that were subject to tender are now not required and a further contract (S21) which was subject to tender has not been awarded as it is more advantageous to extend the existing contract by a further two years. These contracts are highlighted in grey on Appendix A.
4. Thirty four operators submitted contract tender returns on time but not all operators tendered for all contracts. My Officers have analysed the tender submissions, which were assessed in line with agreed criteria which reflects price (70%) and quality (30%). In terms of quality the 30% is made up as follows: 50% vehicle age, 30 % whether the vehicles would be equipped with CCTV systems and 20% previous company performance.
5. As a consequence of the assessment criteria not all of the contracts are recommended to be awarded to the company submitting the lowest tender price. In addition there are new operators who may be awarded contracts who currently do not provide transport for the Vale of Glamorgan Council and background checks including DBS checks and references will need to be undertaken for those operators prior to the commencement of any contracts. Also some existing operators need additional checks to ensure that they can operate all the contracts awarded based on the details in their tender submission.
6. Attached at Appendix A are the summarised details of the tender results with recommendations for the award of 45 contracts. Contract lengths vary between one and three years dependent on circumstances specific to each contract.
7. Subject to Cabinet's agreement, pupils will be given, via the school, an information pack confirming their transport arrangements for September 2014. The pack will contain a letter informing them of their entitlement to transport, a route map and timetable (which will include operator details), a condensed version of the Welsh Learner Travel Behaviour Code and an acknowledgement slip. The acknowledgement slip is an agreement that parents must complete and return to the Council before a bus pass is issued. By signing the agreement, parents are confirming that their child(ren) will abide by the Welsh Learner Travel Behaviour Code and if they do not they will be subject to sanctions that the Council can impose.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
8. The award of contracts as detailed at Appendix A to this report can be accommodated within the current schools budget for 14/15. There is a provisional overall saving of approximately £324.25 per day/£61,607.50 per year 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 and often any saving initially identified by tender results diminishes by the end of the academic year because of operators terminating contracts and additional contracts for new children being required.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
9. 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)
10. 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. All vehicles that are used to convey pupils to and from school must be fitted with seatbelts. This is part of the terms and conditions of the contract that operators agree to.
11. All school transport services are monitored throughout the year. Spot checks are carried out each term to ensure contract terms and conditions are being adhered to. The dates of these spot checks are not given to operators. The termly spot check process will back up the information already supplied by operators further ensuring the "pre-approved" vehicles are being used. Failure to meet the agreed contracts terms and conditions, which include making sure all drivers and escorts have a DBS check and an ID badge, all vehicles (where required) have working CCTV, all vehicles are fitted with seatbelts, all vehicles are taxed, service route numbers are clearly visible and failing to adhere to timetables will result in warnings, final warnings or termination of contract (depending on the severity of the issue identified). By carrying out spot checks on these contracts, we can ensure the Council is getting value for money and operators are adhering to the tender that they submitted
Crime and Disorder Implications
12. These services will provide a safe environment for children to travel to and from school.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
13. The provision of a well organised school bus network helps to increase mobility and accessibility.
14. To provide a reliable, efficient and value for money school bus network.
Policy Framework and Budget
15. This report is a matter for executive decision by Cabinet.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
16. 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 2013/14, when all bus passes are provided.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
17. Economy and Environment.
Kyle Phillips, Senior Transportation Officer, Tel. 01446 704760
Legal - Committee Reports
Finance: Head of Accountancy & Resource Management
(Procurement) Policy Officer
Chief Learning Officer
Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services