Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services is to grant a decision to procure and delegate authority to the Director for Growth and Communities to award and enter into appropriate contractual arrangements to install new playpark equipment and/ or enhance existing playpark equipment across the Kent County Council portfolio of Kent Country Parks.
Kent County Council has secured funding to enlarge or install new playpark equipment and outdoor seating/picnic areas. The equipment would be funded via the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) to provide further outdoor provision to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The budget is circa £1.2m.
The playgrounds will be DDA compliant in terms of their accessibility and inclusive design. The surfacing must adhere to standards EN1176 and EN1177.
The procurement may be awarded to multiple contractors on a site-by-site basis. Each site will be awarded based on design, appropriateness of site requirements, quality, and value for money.
The improvements over winter will ensure there are continued outdoor activities that are accessible and safe, even if low level restrictions begin to be reintroduced which may prevent families and individuals from attending their usual activities.
The total budget for the delivery of this programme is £1.2m. This will be split across a number of sites dependent on the complexity of the equipment. Circa £950k is split across seven sites with ad-hoc improvements being delivered across the rest of the assets.
This is one-off capital spend and is required to be spent by 31st March 2022 in accordance with the COMF. There is a risk that COVID, weather and manufacturing issues could delay all sites being completed by this date. There is currently no scope to roll forward unspent money if the construction is not completed this financial year.
This risk totals £200k (25% of the programme) which would be unspent if there is a delay in the construction at all sites. Following an assessment of the programmes submitted by the tenderers, this figure is forecasted to be no more than £100k. This is on the basis that some projects will be delivered early March and have appropriate float. The programme team will work closely with the awarded suppliers to minimise this risk.
The Growth, Environment and Transport directorate will underwrite any funding that is not rolled over beyond 31st March 2022. This risk will be removed, if COMF funding is rolled over into 22/23 financial year or all sites are completed by 31st March 2022.
Reason for Urgency:
COMF funding was awarded to the department on 15th November 2021. Clarity of the funding restrictions were detailed early December 2021. There is a risk that should the work not be completed by the 31st March 2022, the funding cannot be rolled over in financial year 22/23.
Due to the lead times to order, manufacture and deliver the playpark equipment required in early January at the latest, this will not have the required time to be presented at the appropriate Cabinet Committee.
As Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, I agree to procure and delegate authority to the Director for Growth and Communities to award and enter into appropriate contractual arrangements to install new playpark equipment and/ or enhance existing playpark equipment across the Kent County Council portfolio of Kent Country Parks.
Publication date: 07/01/2022
Date of decision: 07/01/2022
Effective from: 15/01/2022