Report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services
The Cabinet considered the report of the Executive Director of Corporate Resources and Customer Services which indicated that as part of a competitive bidding process co-ordinated through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Sefton Council had been awarded £3,374,297 of grant funding to retrofit 307 poorly insulated homes for low-income Sefton residents. The funding had come from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy as part of the Government’s post Covid 19 response and support for UK Net Zero Carbon by the 2050 target. An additional £1M was awarded to Sefton in November 2022 which would be used to upgrade an additional 100 properties. This additional funding was reported to Council, with a request to accept the funding, via the regular financial management update in November 2022.
The report also indicated that the newly formed Department for Energy Security and Net Zero had announced on 10 February 2023, that the Sustainable Warmth Scheme would be extended by six months, however they are yet to confirm additional funding requested by Sefton. A decision on the request for an additional £2M will be reviewed from mid-June 2023.
That approval be given to the direct award of works (to fulfil the requirements of the Sustainable Warmth fund) to Eco Gee Ltd as per the parameters set out in the report and below.
Reasons for the Recommendation(s):
To use a public procurement regulations compliant framework (Fusion 21) for the selection of the Contractor, via a direct award (contract award without the need for a mini competition) which is a compliant mechanism for an award within this Framework. Based on lessons learnt during previous phases of this funding and current delivery:
1. Timescales – Funding and delivery are time critical. The programme has only 6 months to run, therefore it would not be possible or practical to go to market for an alternative delivery partner.
2. Continuity – the mobilisation of a contractor to deliver external wall insulation (EWI) for example can take months. Therefore, the option of maintaining the current work stream delivering EWI must be considered.
3. Proven delivery – Eco Gee have demonstrated the ability to deliver quality work locally at competitive rates.
4. Customer service and ECO flex – Excellent customer service has been demonstrated. Eco Gee are also one of 4 appointed contractors to deliver the ECO flex programme in Sefton, this provides residents with access to alternative and supplementary funding support.
5. Competitive costing – To secure the most competitive prices, officers considered approved procurement frameworks, where contractors had set out prices at the beginning of the framework. This allowed for a transparent assessment of value for money.
6. Local knowledge – Eco Gee are a local company based just outside Sefton’s border in Liverpool. Evidence from previous experience showed that local companies with detailed knowledge of building stock and local supply chains were best placed to mobilise and deliver quickly and effectively.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected:
Procurement for an alternative delivery partner will mean the project will not be fulfilled within timescales.