Manchester City Council

Agenda item

Agenda item

Call In: Extension to the Joint Venture Agreement with NCP for the Management and Maintenance of NCP and MCC car parks

The decision of the Chief Executive on 21 May 2019 has been called in Councillors Wheeler, Douglas, Lyons, Johns and Jeavons in accordance with paragraph 13.3 of the Scrutiny Procedure Rules.


The terms of the call in are:


“The Joint Venture (JV) covers sites of particular strategic and local interest for city centre councillors and it is inappropriate to tie them up for a further 18-24 months at a time of rapid change for our city without proper analysis.


·                Having asked for information of the revenue raised by this JV, this information has not been forthcoming.

·                Having asked for information on the governance structure of the JV, this information has not been forthcoming.

·                Having asked for information regarding the security of these sites, given specific issues of criminality reported to city centre councillors by residents, this information has not been forthcoming;

·                No case has been presented as to why this agreement, which has run for twenty years, was not renegotiated for the deadline, subject to proper scrutiny; and

·                No case has been presented as to why this situation will have changed in 18-24 months.


As such, City Centre Councillors believe further scrutiny is required”


A copy of the Decision Notice is attached.


Members of the Committee are asked to consider whether or not they will refer the decision back to the decision maker for reconsideration.


The Committee considered a call in of the decision taken by the Chief Executive, relating to the decision to enter into an agreement with NCP to extend the existing Joint Venture (JV) arrangements with the company, which was due to end in June 2019, for an 18 month period (with the ability to further extend the agreement for a further six months on a rolling basis if necessary) for the management and maintenance of those car parks listed in the JV, pending completion of the review of the future strategy for surface and multi-storey car parks.


The Call In had been proposed by Councillor Wheeler and supported by Councillors Douglas, Jeavons, Johns and Lyons.  Councillor Wheeler outlined to the Committee the reasons as to why he had called the decision in and the concerns he had, which centred around:-


·                a lack of information being received in a timely manner in relation to the revenue raise by the JV and its governance structure;

·                the security of the sites given specific issues of criminality reported;

·                why the agreement had not been renegotiated sooner given it was a twenty year agreement; and

·                as the JV covered sites of particular strategic and local interest for city centre councillors, it was not appropriate to tie these sites up for a further 18-24 months at a time of rapid change for the city without proper analysis.


The Leader responded to the concerns raised by Councillor Wheeler. In doing so he advised that the financial information that had previously been requested had not been provided as this was not available at the time the original request had been made (January 2019).  He expressed disappointment that there had been little attempt to contact Executive Members for any information in connection to the decision but also acknowledged that in retrospect, it would have been appropriate for City Centre Ward Councillors to have been made aware of the intended decision in advance of it being taken.  He and the Executive Members for Highways, Planning and Transport advised that the decision had not been taken sooner in order to allow for a strategic review of the parking offer for the city centre. The Leader also advised that if this decision was not made within the next eight days, the existing contract would expire, which was a situation that the Council could not afford to let happen.


An assurance was sought that at the appropriate point in the future when the contract would be subject to re-tender, there would be a focus on increasing the profitability of these sites, to which the Leader agreed. The Leader also said that the City Centre Councillors would be given more information as the process developed and Councillor Wheeler said that he looked forward to a productive working relationship going forward.


After all questions were asked, the Chair invited Councillor Wheeler and the Leader to add anything further to their presentations. No further information was added from either party.




The Committee agreed not to refer back the original decision taken by the Chief Executive.

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