I am not going to disseminate all of Cllr Mark Flewitt’s latest dystopian prose, but do offer some thoughts.
I honestly do not know what “a red heron argument” is, although I can imagine that Mark meant ‘herring’. Still, it does conjure up images of a scarlet hunter.
Did he describe council staff as ‘bureaucrats’ when he was in the Cabinet and in administration? It is generally not thought a good idea to criticise council staff, particularly as they are unable to respond. Picking on the defenceless is bullying.
‘complexity’ is not a noun.
Mark must a have a crystal ball – ‘likely outcome’.
The ‘current Administration members occupying almost two thirds of the council’ – Mark’s arithmetic skills are somewhat lacking. The Joint Administration numbers 27 – 53% of the chamber.
‘We recognise’ – royal pretensions Mark?
‘ironically the people of Southend will not have a vote in this’ – I refer to Nigel Holdcroft’s arguments about the council not being run by referenda.
In fact, the whole letter is so poor I take great pleasure in reproducing it here (my apologies to lovers of erudition.)
Dear Staff and Management of Cory,
I have tried my best to find out why you have lost the contract to collect our rubbish and waste despite having taken so many initiatives for the recycling within Southend Borough Council area. Many residents are shocked along with councillors at the loss and especially the way you appear to have been dumped at the first hurdle.
I understand that you do not know why you scored so poorly in the procurement process but shockingly, neither do the majority of councillors as information has become bound in secrecy and a red heron argument about your lack of success for re-cycling is rumoured to have been the reason.
The Conservatives certainly begun the procurement process, we had to as the new contract needed to be in place for late 2015. We, as you know, lost control of the Council on 22nd May 2014 and the bureaucrats with the LIL Administration (Labour Independent LibDem) simply ran-on with the process and on the 6th August after 6pm we received an e-mail telling us that you had lost a place in the process, but we do not know why.
In drawn out and painful communication with the Director and Independent Portfolio Holder, we are now told that this process requires a balance between price and quality. Were you too expensive (?) but in this complexity, you cannot talk to us, as you are still in the contract you have lost. This is totally unsatisfactory to you and us; in fact we cannot even know who has made this decision.
We would have immediately referred this perverse decision or result to the Waste Management Working Party with the likely outcome of a recommendation that you remain in the process to ensure that as a long serving contractor with us you were extended some further tests to make certain that this was a safe decision and that the “scoring” was correct. We are calling for that to happen but with the current Administration members occupying almost two thirds of the council, we are not likely to be successful.
You, (Management) are due to learn early this coming week of the “scoring” and maybe you will simply accept defeat and that this contract has come to an end or you may conclude that this has been a poor decision and has failed to take some of your procurement evidence in to account or that any submission was misunderstood and resulted in poor scoring. You will be well aware of legal process open to you and of judicial review avenues.
We recognise that waste collection from local authorities is commercially sensitive and we wonder if the loss of your contract has something to do with any un-willingness (on your part) to revert to a fortnightly collection of all waste or black sacks in particular? We simply do not know and ironically the people of Southend will not have a vote in this but this could provide a saving to the council budget, something the LIL Administration will have to take full responsibility for, along with any consequences arising from it in the near future.