Decision Maker: Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
Outlines the background, scope and outcome of
the review into Piel Island future management arrangements.
The Scrutiny and Democratic Services Team Leader had presented the final report of the Scrutiny Work Group – Piel Island. The report outlined the background and scope of the review into the future management arrangements for Piel Island, along with the recommendations and conclusions from the Work Group as follows:-
Barrow Borough Council were the custodian of Piel Island and until late May 2021, the management of Piel Island, including the running of the Ship Inn, maintaining the toilet block and the Island grounds had been undertaken by the holders of a lease from the Council. The Leaseholders had decided before the end of their lease that they wished to terminate the arrangement.
Ensuring that Piel Island could be shown to its best advantage, the Council needed to fully understand its full potential for the future. To enable to the Ship Inn to reopen after a period of closure and early termination of the lease had taken considerable effort from a team of Council Officers who had volunteered to go over to Piel Island and repaint it, organise deep cleaning and deal with a range of other issues. This had been done within a couple of weeks to then enable the Council to show prospective interested partners around the premises.
For the last season and in the light of the impact of Covid, a pilot partnership approach had been put in place with a provider to truly understand what the longer-term management arrangements might look like to make the best of Piel Island for all. The provider was a local company that had experience in running pubs and they subsequently established the Piel Island Pub Company. The arrangement had been that it would be from June to September 2021 and be open book accounting to understand the cost and income from Piel Island.
Scope of the Review
The Work Group wished to ensure that any long-term future management arrangements for Piel Island would be considered thoroughly in an open and transparent manner to ensure that a suitable and experienced operator would be appointed.
Details of the Review
Members of the Work Group had visited Piel Island and had attended a number of meetings with the Director of People and Place during their review.
The Work Group had concluded the following lessons learnt from the 2021 season:-
jetty maintenance would be the responsibility of the operator;
At the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 16th December, 2021 a detailed report had been presented from the Director of People and Place regarding the future management arrangements of Piel Island. The Committee had considered that report and agreed a number of recommendations to the Executive Committee as follows:-
The Committee had welcomed the plan for the future management arrangements of Piel Island but the Work Group needed to understand what had happened in the past, in terms of the selection process for the temporary operator for the 2021 season. A number of questions in that regard had been raised at the meeting which had been taken forward to a meeting of the Work Group in January 2022.
Following further discussions with the Director of People and Place at the Work Group meeting in January 2022, the Work Group had concluded that they were satisfied that due process had been followed to set up the partnership arrangements for the 2021 season and that the Officers involved had done a fantastic job in the short space of time and other challenges faced, including Covid, to get the Island and the Pub up and running for the start of the season and to make Piel Island and its facilities available as often as possible for visitors during the 2021 season.
In respect of the long-term future management arrangements for Piel Island, it had been noted as per the recommendations to the Executive Committee outlined above that an open and transparent procurement process had been undertaken to award the new contract and the Work Group had welcomed the opportunity for them to oversee the Scoring Panel for the Tender submissions.
The Work Group wished to make the following recommendations to the Executive Committee in order to conclude the review:-
It was moved by Councillor McEwan and seconded by Cassidy, and
1. To note the outcome of the review detailed in the report and that the Scrutiny Work Group for Piel Island had been satisfied for the review to be concluded; and
2. To agree that the report be submitted to Executive Committee for consideration of the recommendations as set out in the report.
Report author: Paula Westwood
Publication date: 13/04/2022
Date of decision: 24/03/2022
Decided at meeting: 24/03/2022 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee