GLRO16-18 Catering provision for the election count 6 May 2016

Type of decision: 
GLRO decision
Code: 
GLRO16-18
Date signed: 
08 April 2016
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

The count for the Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections will take place on Friday 6th May 2016 at three count centres across London.
In order for the count to run to time, catering will be required within the venues for all staff associated with the election.  This will enable the count teams to take their breaks without leaving site and so minimise the disruption to the count.

 

 

Decision

That the GLRO approves expenditure of up to £80,000 to provide catering for staff working at the three count venues, including up to £20,000 for ‘dinner contingency’ in the event of a late running count.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1.    The elections for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly will take place in May 2016. The Election count will take place at three venues in London; Alexandra Palace, Excel and Olympia. Each venue is designated as an Election’s Count Centre and the contract for these was signed and agreed under GLRO 16-04.

1.2.    Time is of the essence during the count and therefore it is essential that staff have easy access to refreshments without the need to leave the venue.  Therefore in order to support the count it will be necessary to provide catering for all staff working at the centres to minimise the amount of time that the count teams are away from their constituency areas.

1.3.    It is recommended that breakfast and lunch options are provided for staff plus access to tea, coffee and water throughout the day.  In the event that the count is delayed and it is necessary to keep staff from some constituencies later than anticipated, we will plan for a dinner contingency.  However, this will only be paid for if used.

1.4.    The venues require all tenants to use their in-house catering teams to provide this service.  Therefore additional quotes from other suppliers will not be sought, as we would not be able to use them.

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

Alexandra Palace

2.1.    The catering service at Alexandra Palace is provided by the in-house team, who are directly employed by the venue.

2.2.    The offer here is for breakfast baguettes, a hot fork buffet lunch and tea & coffee available throughout the day.  Based on 550 people working at the venue the cost will be approximately £11,500.

2.3.    Alexandra Palace can also provide a dinner contingency of either a fork buffet dinner or platters of sandwiches.  They will need a minimum of 2 hours’ notice to provide the additional meal.  If used, based on 550 people, the additional catering would cost a further £6,500.

2.4.    The catering will be provided in the Panorama Room, which is also in use as a cloakroom area.  The space will seat up to 120 people on six foot round tables with 5 buffet stations, which will all be staffed by the venue.  All furniture provided in this space will be provided by the caterers and is built into the price.

All staff will be provided with a breakfast and a lunch voucher in advance.  This will allow us to audit the number of meals being served and to ensure that there will be enough food available for all staff working at the venue.

2.5.    There will be no free catering provided for visitors to the count.  However, an additional café will be open in the Palm Court area selling a range of drinks and snacks.

ExCeL

2.6.    The catering service at ExCeL is provided by Leith’s.

2.7.    The offer at ExCeL is for warm savoury baps for the breakfast service, a hot fork buffet lunch and tea & coffee available throughout the day.  Based on 550 people working at the venue the cost will be approximately £25,300.

2.8.    The catering will be provided in 2 of the South Gallery Rooms, which will be open into one space.  This area will seat up to 100 people on six foot round tables with 5 buffet stations, which will all be staffed by the venue.  All furniture provided in this space will be provided by the caterers and is built into the price.

2.9.    All staff will be provided with a breakfast and a lunch voucher in advance.  This will allow us to audit the number of meals being served and to ensure that there will be enough food available for all staff working at the venue.  

2.10.    ExCeL are unable to provide a dinner contingency for a large number of people. However, should dinner be required, there will be catering outlets open on the Boulevard for staff to get an evening meal if necessary.  If the dinner option is used, all staff requiring this can also be provided with a monetised voucher that can be used at any of the catering outlets on the Boulevard.  The additional cost for the dinner voucher system, based on 550 people would be around £8,000.

2.11.    There will be no free catering provided for visitors to the count.  However, a Costa Coffee outlet will be open from 6:30am on the Boulevard.  There will be additional outlets open throughout the day for use by any visitors to ExCel, including accredited visitors for the election.

Olympia

2.12.    The catering service at Olympia is provided by Levy Restaurants.

2.13.    The offer at Olympia is for a breakfast roll selection, a hot fork buffet lunch and tea & coffee available throughout the day.  Based on 450 people working at the venue the cost will be approximately £23,500.

2.14.    Olympia are unable to provide a dinner contingency for any number of people. However, should dinner be required, there is a large pizza restaurant on the corner of the building.  It is proposed that pizzas should be ordered for the required number of staff and paid for via a corporate credit card.  Based on 450 people, it is anticipated that a dinner contingency would cost around £5,500

2.15.    The catering will be provided in the Central Kitchen, which is in the middle of the count area.  This area will seat up to 100 people on bench style seating and all food will come from the servery that is built into the area.  As this area is permanently set-up as a restaurant, there is no need to provide any type of additional furniture.

2.16.    All staff will be provided with a breakfast and a lunch voucher in advance.  This will allow us to audit the number of meals being served and to ensure that there will be enough food available for all staff working at the venue.  Should the dinner option be needed, the food deliveries would be staggered to ensure everyone has an ample amount.

2.17.    There will be no free catering provided for visitors to the count.  However, there are various café’s and other catering outlets close to the venue for use by visitors. 

 

Equality comments

4.1.    The count centres are fully accessible to all staff working there, including any space set aside as a catering area.

4.2.    A mixture of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food will be provided as standard.  Other dietary requirements will be catered for with suitable notice.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues 

3.1.    If catering is not provided for staff working on the count, the teams will need to leave the venue in order to find suitable refreshments.  This will increase the time needed for breaks by everyone and will substantially increase the time required to complete the count and deliver the results.

Impact assessments and consultations

3.2.    All constituencies were consulted regarding catering options, along with GLA staff working at the venues.

 

Financial comments

5.1        The expenditure of up to £80,000 (made up of £60,000 to cater for the three count centres, and £20,000 for “Dinner contingency”) will be contained within the 2016/17 Election budget.

5.2      The additional £20,000 for the “Dinner contingency” is only expected to be spent if the count overruns

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [if applicable]

N/A

Announcement [if applicable]

N/A

Delivery Start Date [if applicable]

6 May 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:

N/A

Delivery End Date [if applicable]

6 May 2016

Project Closure: [if applicable]

6 May 2015