In a recent post published prior to SKDC Companies Committee, I mentioned that progress towards DeliverSK had been slow and uncertain. I also mentioned that it has already cost the Council £90,000 for a company that hasn’t even been incorporated.
The DeliverSK wheeze was one of a number of initiatives which involved recycling ideas from Peterborough City Council and I have mentioned several of them previously on this blog. It was noted at Full Council last week, by one of my Independent colleagues, that the ‘Peterborough Project’ now appears to be over and the council has changed direction.
The £90,000 was split three ways. £50,000 for the expertise of Pinsent Masons who, we are told, are very good at the legal aspects of setting up arms-length enterprises for the council. Indeed, they were very clued up when I asked (on 29 August 2018) how it was possible for the council to enter a multi-million partnership with a third party finance company without an formal procurement process. The Company would not be procuring works or services; they would be seeking and selecting an investment partner so no need for all that pesky red-tape.
The next £6,000 went to KPMG. Don’t ask me what for because I don’t know.
The remaining £34,339 went to Peterborough City Council. I didn’t really understand what this was for until this morning when I had a reply to a request for further information. Apparently, a decision was taken to take one of Peterborough’s senior staff members on secondment. He worked for South Kesteven for 50 days (excluding weekends) between January and March 2019 at a cost of £686 per day. Shortly after he returned from his secondment, Peterborough City Council made him redundant with a massive ‘golden goodbye’.
And what do we, at South Kesteven, have to show for it?
That’s a rhetorical question, as I am sure you can guess the answer, but the forthcoming minutes of the closed session of Companies Committee will hopefully shed some light on it.