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Agenda item

Acacia Hospitality Contract

Summary:

 

At its meeting on 12 September 2013 (min. no. 54) Cabinet resolved to award a contract for the management of weddings, entertainment and related operations at Acacia Mansion House, Marquee, Gazebo, Ballroom, Bar, Coach House and Darent Suite. Following discussion with the successful tenderer it is necessary to report back on the financial implications of the award, which differ from those previously reported, and invite Cabinet to reconsider the award.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.         That the reasons for re-evaluating the tenders for the Acacia hospitality contract as set out in this report, be noted.

 

2.         That the re-evaluation of the tenders, as set out in Exempt Appendix A, and the revised financial implications as set out in this report, be noted.

 

3.         That a contract for the Acacia Mansion House, Marquee, Gazebo, Ballroom and bar, Coach House, and Darent Suite, be offered to Tenderer 2, on detailed terms to be agreed by the Managing Director in consultation with the Portfolio Member for Leisure.

 

4.         That a lease or licence of the Acacia Mansion House, Marquee, Gazebo, Ballroom and bar, Coach House, and Darent Suite be granted to Tenderer 2 on terms to be agreed by the Project Director in consultation with the Managing Director and Head of Legal Services.

Minutes:

The Regeneration Director had asked that this item, which includes an exempt Appendix, be considered at this meeting due to the urgent need to establish management arrangements for the Acacia leisure facilities. In accordance with Standing Order 57(6)(iii)(a), as the requisite 28 clear days’ notice of the potential need to hold part of the meeting in private had not been given, the Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee was consulted and agreed that this item may be considered.

 

At its meeting on 12 September 2013 (min. no. 54) Cabinet had resolved to award a contract for the management of weddings, entertainment and related operations at Acacia Mansion House, Marquee, Gazebo, Ballroom, Bar, Coach House and Darent Suite. Following discussion with the successful tenderer it was necessary to report back on the financial implications of the award, which differed from those previously reported, and invite Cabinet to reconsider the award.

 

The Chairman explained how it had been decided to perform a full re-evaluation of all the submitted tenders in order to ensure that they had all been considered fairly. He said that, following re-evaluation, the ranking of the tenders under consideration had not changed, although he noted the reduced value of the chosen tender to the Council.

 

The Chairman referred to the questions that had been raised at the Cabinet Advisory Panel meeting and confirmed that the tender review procedure itself had involved a thorough review of the each tenderer’s existing operations and track record. He also referred to the procurement process and agreed that it would not be necessary to carry out a review as this tendering process had, because of the difficulties encountered when the operation had previously been put out to tender, been unique and unusual. Those present at the Cabinet Advisory Panel meeting also confirmed that no-one had spoken against the strategy being proposed, and said that it had received unanimous support.

 

Members welcomed and endorsed the report’s recommendations and asked when the identity of the chosen operator could be announced, as enquiries were already being received from prospective users of the facility. The Regeneration Director outlined the steps that now had to be followed and, following further discussion, it was decided that no formal announcements should be made until the contract had been signed. The Regeneration Director said that he would ensure that this would take place as soon as possible and, in response to a further question, also confirmed that officers had checked and confirmed with the operator their understanding of the proposed contractual arrangement.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.         That the reasons for re-evaluating the tenders for the Acacia hospitality contract as set out in this report, be noted.

 

2.         That the re-evaluation of the tenders, as set out in Exempt Appendix A to the report, and the revised financial implications as set out in the report, be noted.

 

3.         That a contract for the Acacia Mansion House, Marquee, Gazebo, Ballroom and bar, Coach House, and Darent Suite, be offered to Tenderer 2, on detailed terms to be agreed by the Managing Director in consultation with the Portfolio Member for Leisure.

 

4.         That a lease or licence of the Acacia Mansion House, Marquee, Gazebo, Ballroom and bar, Coach House, and Darent Suite be granted to Tenderer 2 on terms to be agreed by the Project Director in consultation with the Managing Director and Head of Legal Services.

Supporting documents: