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Decision details

Catering Service

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes


The report will outline the options for the Catering Service going forward and seek a decision from the Cabinet Member as to the preferred option.



That the Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Governance gives approval to insource the catering service.


Reasons for the decision:

At this time, given the restrictions in place due to the COVID pandemic and the reduced numbers of staff present at Moorfoot and the Town Hall, there is unlikely to be interest from the private sector in bidding to run a catering service.  However, it is anticipated that there will be a continued demand for catering services within the Council, from staff and for events in the future.  Insourcing the catering service allows the Council to respond more quickly, using experienced staff, as circumstances change and to have more control over the offer on corporate and event catering.


Alternative options considered:

There are four options for the future of the catering service: extend the current arrangements, procure new arrangements, allow the current contract to expire and insource the service.  However, extending the current arrangements for a longer period of time could present an issue from a procurement law perspective and the service provider, Argent, have also indicated that this is not something they are interested in.  It is also highly unlikely that there would be any interest in a new procurement given the current very low demand for catering and the unpredictability of the pandemic/potential for further restrictions.  In the circumstances, these two options are not explored in more detail in the report.


The other two options – to allow the current Catering Contract to expire and do not replace it at this time; and for the Council to bring the service in-house after a short extension to the current contract to facilitate the transfer – are explored in more detail in section 2 of the report.


These were the two options proposed to the Cabinet Member, and the latter was selected for the reasons explained earlier.


Urgent item?: Yes

Publication date: 22/10/2020

Date of decision: 21/10/2020

Accompanying Documents: