Anger as SLDC awards PR job to promote South Lakeland to agency in....Manchester

SLDC

SLDC

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Reporter

A COUNCIL contract to promote South Lakeland as a good place for business has been given to a Manchester firm.

The decision has rattled local-based PR specialists who say South Lakeland is well-served by companies capable of the work.

The job, with a maximum budget of £35,000 and £23,775 worth of work, has been awarded by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) to SKV Communications.

Last year SLDC’s economic and inward investment arm, Invest in South Lakeland, was criticised for awarding a £14,000 video job to a Cheshire-based company.

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One PR operator said: “It is perverse that someone at the council has not understood the irony of hiring a Manchester company to go out there and tell other companies that South Lakeland is a great place for business.”

Another added: “There are dozens of excellent PR outfits based in the district. Do they even see the irony?”

Coun Andrew Gardiner, of the opposition Tories on the Lib Dem-run council said: “I believe the council is being hypocritical. There’s no reason why they have to go to Manchester; it’s a disgrace. Promoting South Lakeland should have been done by a local firm.”

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SLDC declined to say if the winning bid was the cheapest but said it represented ‘best value to the council, based on its point scoring on quality and price’.

The authority says tender rules means it cannot show favouritism to local companies.

In a statement SLDC said: “We do, however, have a sustainable procurement strategy where we do everything we can as a council to encourage and help local suppliers to take part in the procurementprocess.

“Obtaining value for money and creating opportunities for economic growth is at the forefront of all our procurement activity.

“We provide training, more is planned for later this year, and information to suppliers who want to apply for contracts. We also provide detailed feedback to unsuccessful bidders.

“We are continuing to work towards a target of 35 per cent local suppliers based in South Lakeland.”

The contract will run until March 31, 2015.

The PR company has to ‘reinforce the message that South Lakeland is open for business’ and introduce investors to the council’s Invest in South Lakeland website.

It must also ‘raise the profile of South Lakeland as a world-class place to do business’.’

Comments (7)

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10:32am Thu 3 Jul 14

Chateau Musar says...

Mr Gardiner clearly doesn't understand what a fair procurement process looks like. Is he also fully aware of how The Chest works?

As an independent marketing and PR business based in South Lakeland, I can confirm I am not "rattled". Indeed, I'm delighted North West based SKV have been awarded the work. Moreover, Spinoza et al will do a great job, his team is incredibly experienced and will bring great value to the project.

Those unsuccessful candidates who chose to moan at not securing work through a tender process need to sharpen up their pitches; simple.

Finally, to expect SLDC to only use South Lakeland businesses to carry out their work would be ridiculous and unsustainable.
Mr Gardiner clearly doesn't understand what a fair procurement process looks like. Is he also fully aware of how The Chest works? As an independent marketing and PR business based in South Lakeland, I can confirm I am not "rattled". Indeed, I'm delighted North West based SKV have been awarded the work. Moreover, Spinoza et al will do a great job, his team is incredibly experienced and will bring great value to the project. Those unsuccessful candidates who chose to moan at not securing work through a tender process need to sharpen up their pitches; simple. Finally, to expect SLDC to only use South Lakeland businesses to carry out their work would be ridiculous and unsustainable. Chateau Musar
  • Score: 26

1:05pm Thu 3 Jul 14

magical trevor says...

Those that complained about the awarding of this contract to a company outside of the South Lakes area, would also have been the first to complain if SLDC had awarded a contract to a company charging over the odds and offering a service below certain standards....SLDC are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Those that complained about the awarding of this contract to a company outside of the South Lakes area, would also have been the first to complain if SLDC had awarded a contract to a company charging over the odds and offering a service below certain standards....SLDC are damned if they do and damned if they don't. magical trevor
  • Score: 16

4:36pm Thu 3 Jul 14

johnwalker1000 says...

This tender was known about by numerous companies who didn't go for it due to SLDC wanting to own/use any/all the content of any material that was submitted even in not securing the contract. I know this was off putting for a fact. The best ideas could have come from the most expensive companies but then the cheapest won the contract and was given all the good ideas from elsewhere to use. Disgusting!
This tender was known about by numerous companies who didn't go for it due to SLDC wanting to own/use any/all the content of any material that was submitted even in not securing the contract. I know this was off putting for a fact. The best ideas could have come from the most expensive companies but then the cheapest won the contract and was given all the good ideas from elsewhere to use. Disgusting! johnwalker1000
  • Score: -7

8:23pm Thu 3 Jul 14

CumbrianWorker says...

Scraping the barrel for news this week? SLDC have a process; a move away from councils of old who handed work to the same old friends time and time again. They've saved council tax payers £10thousand by doing this. As a citizen of South Lakeland that pleases me. They've employed a pr firm with a good reputation. What is the problem? If there is a story to be gained here it might be "what makes south lakeland companies think they deserve to be handed work when the council can get better value for public money by going elsewhere?"

As a local business I can confirm I have won work with sldc before and I have also lost work. I don't grumble. It's a competition and it should be. What businessman doesn't understand that? It's what business was once built on until it became acceptable to expect favours from our friends at the council.
Scraping the barrel for news this week? SLDC have a process; a move away from councils of old who handed work to the same old friends time and time again. They've saved council tax payers £10thousand by doing this. As a citizen of South Lakeland that pleases me. They've employed a pr firm with a good reputation. What is the problem? If there is a story to be gained here it might be "what makes south lakeland companies think they deserve to be handed work when the council can get better value for public money by going elsewhere?" As a local business I can confirm I have won work with sldc before and I have also lost work. I don't grumble. It's a competition and it should be. What businessman doesn't understand that? It's what business was once built on until it became acceptable to expect favours from our friends at the council. CumbrianWorker
  • Score: 18

8:27pm Thu 3 Jul 14

CumbrianWorker says...

johnwalker1000 wrote:
This tender was known about by numerous companies who didn't go for it due to SLDC wanting to own/use any/all the content of any material that was submitted even in not securing the contract. I know this was off putting for a fact. The best ideas could have come from the most expensive companies but then the cheapest won the contract and was given all the good ideas from elsewhere to use. Disgusting!
Part of the problem might also be paranoia and sour grapes amongst the business community
[quote][p][bold]johnwalker1000[/bold] wrote: This tender was known about by numerous companies who didn't go for it due to SLDC wanting to own/use any/all the content of any material that was submitted even in not securing the contract. I know this was off putting for a fact. The best ideas could have come from the most expensive companies but then the cheapest won the contract and was given all the good ideas from elsewhere to use. Disgusting![/p][/quote]Part of the problem might also be paranoia and sour grapes amongst the business community CumbrianWorker
  • Score: 13

8:28pm Thu 3 Jul 14

CumbrianWorker says...

johnwalker1000 wrote:
This tender was known about by numerous companies who didn't go for it due to SLDC wanting to own/use any/all the content of any material that was submitted even in not securing the contract. I know this was off putting for a fact. The best ideas could have come from the most expensive companies but then the cheapest won the contract and was given all the good ideas from elsewhere to use. Disgusting!
Part of the problem might also be paranoia and sour grapes amongst the business community
[quote][p][bold]johnwalker1000[/bold] wrote: This tender was known about by numerous companies who didn't go for it due to SLDC wanting to own/use any/all the content of any material that was submitted even in not securing the contract. I know this was off putting for a fact. The best ideas could have come from the most expensive companies but then the cheapest won the contract and was given all the good ideas from elsewhere to use. Disgusting![/p][/quote]Part of the problem might also be paranoia and sour grapes amongst the business community CumbrianWorker
  • Score: 7

3:24pm Fri 4 Jul 14

ELBEAN says...

35%? Wow.
35%? Wow. ELBEAN
  • Score: -5

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