GLRO16-19 Security Services for 2016 Mayoral Election

Type of decision: 
GLRO decision
Date signed: 
25 April 2016
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

The Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections will take place on Thursday 5th May 2016.
To ensure the safety and security of staff and visitors, and to reduce the risk of disruptive incidents taking place at the count centres and City Hall, a decision is required to appoint Security Contractors to provide security services, traffic management, and associated equipment at City Hall, Alexandra Palace, Excel, and Olympia, which are serving as count and declaration centres for these elections.



Under GLRO delegation, that the Deputy GLRO approves expenditure of £95,000 on security across all 4 central venues comprising of:

Count Centres -
•    Expenditure of up to £85,000 for security contractors at the 3 count centre venues (Alexandra Palace, Excel, and Olympia) using their preferred security contractors. 
•    A related exemption from section 4.1 of the contracts and funding code which requires call off from a suitable framework or for a formal tender process to be undertaken, for the appointment of security contractors at Alexandra Palace, Excel, and Olympia.

City Hall -
•    Expenditure of up to £6,000 for the hire of additional security staff at City Hall from Servoca, who are available to the GLA as part of the supporting Security Services Framework Agreement and expenditure of £1,000 for More London security staff and barriers to protect the external perimeter and control vehicle access. 

Contingency -
•    To cover all venues as a contingency sum of £3,000 is required to cover last minute changes to security requirements, from Servoca who are available to the GLA as part of the Security Supporting Services Framework agreement. The cost is dependent on the requirements needed at the time.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1.    The election for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly will take place in May 2016. The use of e-counting for the 2016 elections (as approved under cover of GLRO16-02) necessitates the use of 3 Count Centres, with City Hall as the declaration venue for the results of the Mayoral and London-wide Assembly Member contest.

1.2.    A credible and effective security presence will be required throughout the GLA’s period of occupation at the Count Centres (the venue hire period) which is from Wednesday 4th May, through to 12 noon on Saturday 7th May 2016.

1.3.    Venue Directors, who are senior GLA staff, are appointed to run the four venues at Alexandra Palace, Excel, Olympia and City Hall, and they will have overall control and accountability.

1.4.    The 3 Count Centres need to be secured throughout the GLA’s period of occupation. 

1.5.    The role of the security staff at the Count Centres and City Hall will be to maintain the security integrity of the count, ensure the safety of those attending the count and ensure that there are no disruptive security incidents that affect the count and the declaration of the results.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1.    The security posture for the four venues will be determined by the national and local threat landscape prevailing at the time of the elections, but for planning purposes the threat level from terrorism will be taken at its current state at “Severe”, meaning an attack on the UK is highly likely.

2.2.    In the case of the 3 Count Centres at Alexandra Palace, Olympia and Excel, we contract with the venues’ security contractors, as required by our rental agreement. A single source justification will be completed for this. Whilst GLA is obliged to use these, the advantage is also that the contractors have inter-operability with the respective venues and understand their local arrangements and procedures, which will contribute to the efficient and smooth running of the security operation. The process has been agreed with TFL procurement.

2.3.    The single source justification is based on the fact that the venues require all tenants to use their in-house security teams to provide this service.  The respective venues require that the GLA use their security contractors due to their experience and knowledge of the individual sites and as a result, no alternative suppliers were considered. An exemption from the GLA’s Contract and Funding Code is therefore being sought as there is a complete absence of competition to appoint any other security contractors. 

2.4.    At City Hall the in-house security team will be used, supplemented by officers supplied by Servoca, under the GLA’s Supporting Security Services Framework Agreement. In addition to this security officers will be supplied by More London Estates (City Hall’s Landlord) to secure the external perimeter and control and escort vehicular access into the cordon that will be deployed around City Hall. 

2.5.    The objectives of the security operation are;

•    To provide a safe and secure environment for staff and visitors
•    To reduce the risk of disruption by security incidents to the count process and declarations 
•    To ensure the integrity of vote counting process is maintained and seen to be maintained at the Count Centres.
•    The announcements of the results are delivered in an environment that is free of harassment and disorder.

2.6.    To support the achievement of the objectives a common Admissions Policy and entry accreditation process will apply across the four venues. This includes arrangements to search all accredited visitors who have a right to attend the Count Centres and City Hall.

2.7.    A comprehensive security services specification has been developed to deliver the objectives stated above.

2.8.    The expected outcome will be that the event remains safe and secure and that any disruption as a result of security incidents is dealt with proportionately and effectively. 

2.9.    The security contractors that will be used, subject to confirming their ability to deliver the specification and agreeing contracts, at the 3 Count Centres are;

•    City Hall – GLA in-house Security Team supplemented by Servoca and More London Estates
•    Olympia - Show Sec
•    Excel - Secure Ops Ltd
•    Alexandra Palace    - AP Security 

The contingency if the venues preferred security contractor cannot meet the requirements will be to use the GLA’s Supporting Security Services Framework Agreement.

Equality comments

4.1.    All the venues being used as count centres for the 2016 Mayoral and Assembly Member will have full disabled access.


Other considerations

a)     Key risks and issues 

3.1.    The security planning and cost estimates are based on the current general threat levels.  A specific threat assessment for the elections will be carried out immediately prior to the event. This may impact on the staffing levels and the costs.  The specific security arrangements employed at each of the Count Centres and City Hall may also vary, depending on the local situation.

3.2.    Regardless of staffing levels multiple, concurrent incidents at any one venue have the potential to cause disruption to the activities taking place which may result in a delay in the count or announcements

3.3.    Without sufficient security resource it will be difficult to maintain control of the entry points, protect critical assets or deal with public order incidents, which could impact on the ability to deliver the results in the required timescales or undermine the integrity of the count process.

b)     Impact assessments and consultations.

3.4.    The respective venues will be consulted on the security arrangements. The preference for the use of the venues preferred security contractors will ensure there is a good co-ordination and co-operation with the venues management and their specific operating procedures. Should the venues security contractor not be utilised plans will be put in place to ensure that the alternative contractor is inducted into the venue ahead of the elections.

3.5.    The dedicated security contractor at each of the venues will report to the GLA Security Manager, who in turn will report to the GLA’s Operations Manager. In the case of City Hall the security team will be a combination of in-house security supplement by the GLA’s regular security contractor.

3.6.    The MPS is being consulted in relation to the elections and the security arrangements at the Count Centres and City Hall. The MPS will overlay an appropriate and proportionate policing plan and command and control structure. 

Financial comments

5.1.    The request for expenditure of up to £95,000 is to appoint security contractors to provide security services and associated equipment.
This is split as follows:

Excel – Secure Ops –             £18,000 
Alexandra Palace – AP Security -     £31,000
Alexandra Palace – Traffic Mgmt -     £8,000
Olympia – Showsec –             £28,000
City Hall – Servoca            £6,000
City Hall – MLE -            £1,000
Contingency –                 £3000
Total                                              £95,000.00

5.2.    These current requests for expenditure are based on the current threat level of “Severe”. Changes in the threat level, both national and locally, could influence the expenditure amount.

5.3.    These costs will be contained within the 2016/17 Election budget.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract [if applicable]

8th April 2016

Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [if applicable]

4th May 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self/external)


Delivery End Date [if applicable]

7th May 2016

Project Closure: [if applicable]

7th May 2016