Councillor Guy Mackenzie
Chairman of the Board of Kerrier Direct Services
Speech made at Kerrier District Council Full Council Meeting, 27th May 1997

Madam Chairman,

As Chairman of Direct Services I've asked to speak first.

May I immediately say that, following the issuing of the Section 114 Report, this Council has no realistic alternative but to Note the Report and award the Leisure Contract to Relaxion.

This is without doubt the hardest statement I have ever made in this Chamber.

Madam Chairman can you or any Member of this Council who was not here in 1994 begin to understand what the Direct Services Board, the Leisure Staff and the Unions have achieved over the last 3 years?

In 1994 this Contract was losing EIGHT THOUSAND POUNDS EVERY MONTH and was a disaster for the taxpayers of Kerrier.

But in September of that year, against the advice of the Chief Services Officer (Mr J Cadman) nearly every Member of the Council voted to back the previous Board under the excellent Chairmanship of Councillor Sid Godolphin to try and sort it out.

That confidence has been fully justified and through sheer hard work, co-operation and sound business practices, the Leisure Contract has been transformed into one which consistently makes a profit every month and has even returned money to its Client Committee! That profit has not been achieved by deferring maintenance and I've written to Hilary Armstrong on that point.

For the Direct Services Board, the Staff and the Members who have consistently backed us -to lose the Contract now is a bitter, bitter disappointment.

Before I finish I'd like to ask some questions:

Firstly, I understand that Post Tender negotiations are contrary to the European Services Directive - is this correct?

Secondly, it has been reported by the Treasurer and minuted that the Direct Services Board could run this Contract on the Original Contract terms and price tendered of 339,000 plus inflation. A total of around 354,000. At face value this appears to be less than Relaxion's latest tender of 367,000 plus extras and including the almost immediate installation of their own Health Suite or compensation in lieu. Is this correct? However, I understand that there is a binding Contract between this Council and our existing Health Suite Supplier which cannot be terminated until next year. If so, what is the real first year cost of Relaxion's tendered price, and is this within this Council's budget?

Finally, if this Contract is awarded to Relaxion today, as I feel that it will, may I on behalf of the Direct Services Board, ask them to protect all the Services on offer, may I seek that they cherish our staff - they are the best - and may I wish them success in their temporary stewardship, because one day a new Direct Services Board will successfully reclaim the Leisure Contract - ONE DAY THE D.S.B. WILL BE BACK!!

Author's Note:
In 2005, and as I predicted, Helston Sports Centre once again came under the control of Kerrier District Council - my congratulations to all the Officers and Members of Kerrier District Council who were involved in this reversal.

Stop Press

Abolition of the Audit Commission announced by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, on August 13th 2010!

Letter published in the West Briton Newspaper Thursday September 9th 2010 written by Guy Mackenzie:-

Ask Audit Commission to repay wasted money

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