Agenda item

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities externally funded projects approvals - Procurement


Mike Humber, Director of Environment, introduced the report and made the following points:


·  The report recommended that Cabinet approve expenditure that was above the key decision threshold for services that support the delivery of Ramsgate and Margate, Levelling-Up funded projects which would work with the Simplification Pathfinder;

·  The capital funding was already allocated within the Council’s approved budget;

·  Councillors were reminded that this report was regarding the key decision to spend, not for the allocation of the budget itself;

·  The report also requested approval for the Council to procure design team services, which included the award of a contract for specialist ro-ro Berth surveys as part of the port infrastructure project;

·  The report also referred to cost consultant services which would need to be outsourced as not all services can be provided in house.


Councillors commented and asked the following questions:


·  Councillors asked why the port was not approved for Port Infrastructure Fund monies in 2020, from a Government funded scheme. Officers explained that this was included to be part of the Levelling-Up Fund for TDC and that the £130,000 figure was the estimated value of the surveys being carried out to account for the specialist services provided, such as ultrasonic thickness testing and diving;

·  Councillors were concerned about the environmental impact of the project on Ramsgate town, regarding large shipping. Officers reminded councillors that heavy shipping occurred in the Ramsgate ports previous to 2013 and that, ships had to switch over to less polluting low sulphur fuel or marine gas oil;

·  Councillors brought up concerns over the potential increase in road traffic and lorry movements going through the town also causing environmental impacts as well as the expertise of a potential port operator who would accept the job. Officers understood the concerns and explained that the Ramsgate Tunnel would help the flow of lorries going to and from the port, rather than going through the town itself;

·  Councillors asked if there was a back-up plan for the monies if the port infrastructure failed. Officers addressed this to say that there was not a backup plan to speak of as this was being taken as a risk based approach that has been approved by Cabinet, but the project would not progress any further if the deliverables such as finding a port operator were not achieved;

·  Councillors asked specifically what timescales the Council was working towards when it came to the tendering process of the project. Officers replied that the initial plan was for the tendering process to be complete later on in the year, or early 2025, however the Council would have more information regarding the initial stage of the process, by the end of the Summer;

·  Councillors wanted to know why a further £250,000 was being spent on the berths, when there was a £1.2 million spend for the upkeep of the berths in 2016. Officers assured Councillors that since those works were carried out, at least £1.2 million of income has been generated from the berths.


Councillors agreed to note the report.

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