We took the decision in 2019/20 to improve communications in the village by installing 2 additional noticeboards. We reviewed a number of options from suppliers of Parish Council style boards. For Phase 1 we planned to have a free standing one at the top of Peacroft lane and a wall mounted version which we subsequently mounted in the Wellbrook Medical Centre.
We obtained prices from 3 suppliers, and decided not to go with the cheapest ( for the free-standing) as we wanted a standard that was robust, of good design, and gave the best security features. The same company did supply the cheapest wall mounted.
The 1st 2 Boards, including installation, and anti-graffiti paint were £2055 (ex VAT)
The comparisons were:
Noticeboard cost comparisons (PDF, 222 Kb)
3 quotes obtained for the 1st Phase of noticeboards
Christmas Tree Street Lights
As a Parish Council we decided that we would like to do more to recognise Xmas in the village. Additionally during the spring/summer months we wanted to explore the idea of having hanging baskets throughout the village.
A number of Councillors had seen the Xmas Tree Street light displays in Hatton last year. We approached the Hatton PC who gave us the contact details of the supplier, Plantscape.
The advantages of Plantscape's offer are:
- Solar powered - so no electrical supply issues
- Lamp post mounted - no wall fixing issues on private property.
- Not owned by the PC, rented just for the Xmas period.
- All necessary testing carried out by the supplier, including maintenance and programming.
- Brackets can be retained and used for hanging baskets and Xmas trees in subsequent years if we chose to do so.
- Proven and successful with Hatton PC
Plantscape pioneered the lamp post mounted solar powered Xmas tree lights. This is their proprietary product.
The prices are £98 per half tree, and £15 per each lamp post tested. We decided that, in order to get a good spread across the village ( Main Street, and Welland Road) we would order 40 half-trees, across 20 lamp posts. This results in an ex-VAT price of £4235 for 2019/20.
As these are proprietary products offered at a fixed price i.e. no options exist with this specification we are not required under PC ( or National rules) to obtain 3 quotes.
We felt that this offered value for money in support of our commitment to improve the village scene during the festive period , and the sense of community.
The previous website needed upgrading. Under new rules around accessibility the website needed to be compliant to those standards. We wanted to contract with an organisation who had a track record in websites with Parish Councils in mind, provided, training, on-going-support, email accounts, and flexibility of configuration.
We looked at many PC website standards and focused on 3 suppliers that delivered options that met our requirements.
A comparison was done, and a recommendation to proceed with 2 Commune. The initial set up and Year 1 costs in 2019/20 were £1450. Annual costs £800 pa
The previous Toyota Van was on a 3 year lease which expired on 30 January 2020 for which we were paying £200 per month. The van did on average 100 miles per month.
We carried out a considerable amount of research across the market place looking at new / 2nd hand - petrol/diesel/electric.
Our preferred option is for an electric van however the costs are prohibitive and we wanted to explore more commercial options to make this a value for money proposition. Our decision was to buy a 2nd hand vehicle as a bridging option; as petrol vans of the size we wanted were quite rare we accepted that a diesel van was the only option.
Based on the 2nd hand market, and the option to have a trailer, and external markings, we agree on a budget of £6,000. The van we bought cost £4495, before the markings, tow bar and trailer.
Van - Comparison of options (PDF, 485 Kb)
Detailed analysis presented to December Full Council supporting the decision to proceed with a 2nd Hand Van and the budget maximum of £6000.
The 2nd hand Fiat Diablo van
At the beginning of 2020 the Council had 3 mowers available for use:
One mower showed high oil usage and the engine is in a very poor state
One mower had a defective drive shaft / bearing and needs parts from Australia ( with a long lead time)
The third mower was a garden mower and not owned by the Council
New Lawnmowers - Initial assessment (PDF, 587 Kb)
Paper submitted for Council review at the January 2020 meeting. It was agreed to buy 2 mowers, and a more thorough analysis of the options and sources to be carried out
New Lawnmowers - detailed comparison (PDF, 487 Kb)
Detailed analysis of options, specifications and costs presented at the February 2020 Council meeting. It was agreed to buy 2 Cobras.
There was a need for the competitive tendering of the Parish Council's main insurance contract ( not vehicle).
There was a 3 year contract in place which ended 31 May 2020 ( £4973). A full market review was conducted which resulted in a significant cost reduction and a more flexible and comprehensive cover.
Main Insurance Contract market comparison (PDF, 468 Kb)
Details of the market comparison, including analysis leading to a decision to change Insurance provider and a cost reduction of £3400 pa.
The Council wanted to provide floral displays throughout the village during the summer months. When we contracted with Plantscape to provide Xmas Tree lights over 2019/20 we were aware of their hanging basket / planter offer which would utilise the same street lamp fixturing. This was an attractive proposition for achieving the floral objective and was the agreed strategy.
Plantscape use the existing lamp post fixturing, supply pots, plants, maintain and water throughout the summer period. It is a fully inclusive product and service. There is no burden on Parish Council Office.
As we were keen to pursue the Plantscape product/service option then there was no value to be gained by obtaining quotes from other suppliers which would not be directly comparable.
For summer 2020:
There are 46 hanging basket locations with 88 hanging baskets (inc watering) - £4980 (£56 each)
3 roadside planters by "Welcome to Hilton" signs £370
Lamp post testing £390
This was included in the 2020/21 budget at £5,000. £740 was transferred from the salaries budget due to a planned underspend resulting from there being no employed Clerk. All Clerk tasks covered voluntarily by Councillors.
New Astro Turf Surface and Basket Ball posts (£28087)
The Astro Turf pitch was originally laid around 10 years ago. Whilst it has been maintained very well and, generally, in good condition, it was wearing in a number of places and losing its grippiness.
The decision had been taken previously to fully re-lay the surface.
In discussions with a number of providers, looking at the pitch spec options, and the requirement to keep it multipurpose we decided to remain with the existing specification (Matchwinner Velour 1 17mm needlepunch Astroturf).
Additionally our survey work had identified a need for recreational use of basket ball posts for shooting practice. We felt that, as the court would be out of action for 1-2 weeks, that it was an ideal opportunity to install the posts at the same time.
As the value of the contract was expected to be greater than £25,000 we were legally required to go through a formal tender process, and to advertise the tender on the Governments "Contracts Finder" website. This proved to be very useful and generated 10 tender responses.