Hart has opened up the bidding on a contract to provide 8 reports for the Shapley Heath Garden Community (SHGC). The trouble is some of them are simply word salad and have no meaning. As an aside, have you noticed that they have subtly changed it from a Garden Village to a Garden Community. We think that means it gets bigger, and “community” sounds nicer than “town”.
Back to the point. The 8 reports are:
- Strategy Report – HNA and HIA [Health Needs Assessment and Health Impact Assessment]
- Strategy Report – GI, Sports and Leisure [Green Infrastructure]
- Strategy Report – Economy and Employment
- Evidence for Need for Housing for Older People
- Evidence for Need for housing for supported housing
- Evidence for Need for housing for younger people and first-time buyers
- Garden Community Technical Report – Accessible Housing
- Garden Community Technical Report – Keyworker Housing
They expect the contract to be worth around £56K in total, or approximately £7K per report. Although £56K is a lot of money, it doesn’t look like they are going to get a lot of in-depth, quality analysis for £7K per report. Moreover, the budgeted £56K is more than double the £25K total budget for consultants for the whole year.
Of course they must have already spent most of that £25K on the Shapley Heath website, the recent survey and advertising. They have received £130K from the Government that wasn’t in the budget, so maybe they are using that money to fund these reports.
Word Salad Shapley Heath contract specs
It gets worse when you start to look at the detail of the scope documents. In places they are virtually impossible to decipher. You can’t even work out what you think they are meant to say. They’re just word salad. So, heaven knows what the potential bidders are going to make of it.
First, take the GI Sports and Leisure report as an example. Section 2.6.6 sets out a specification for the final report including the following word for word quote:
e. To look at locally derived open space, recreation, sports and leisure standards for quantity, quality and accessibility including potential thresholds above which should be required and where available, financial information to be supplied….
g. Propose options for the long-term financial management, malignance of the facilities and open spaces which make best use of the resources and outline any commercial opportunities. This will include consideration for the placement of destination leisure facilities and commercial ventures.
We have no idea how any supplier is going to come up with options for malignance of the facilities.
It gets even worse. The Health report contains no mention at all assessing the number or size of GP practices required. It doesn’t even ask to look at local hospital capacity. There isn’t even a requirement to liaise with the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and doesn’t even include the word “healthcare”.
However, we are sure readers will be reassured that it does include the requirement to ensure the report is “compatible with the councils [sic] 2040 target of district being net carbon neutral”. The consultants producing the report also have to “work with the Renewable Energy consultant and provide relevant information and data for the Renewable Energy consultant strategy report”.
As long as the report is carbon neutral and they’ve spoken to the Renewable Energy consultants, there’s no need to talk to the local NHS CCG, specify the size and shape of GP requirements or decide whether we’ll need extra hospital beds.
What a waste. Perhaps they should launch a contract to teach them plain English.