ADD322 Team London Ambassador Summer 2015 Pop Up Pods

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
22 June 2015
Decision by: 
Natalie Cramp, Programme Director, Team London

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval for expenditure of up to a maximum of £27,170 to re-skin, adapt, update and create new Team London Ambassador Pop Up Pods for the Summer of 2015. The Visitor Welcome Programme will deploy c650 Team London Ambassadors to 9 key tourist locations to enhance the visitor experience in London. The pop up pods act as a central base for volunteers and are covered in Team London branded vinyl with a local / London map to help visitors.


That the Assistant Director approves:

•    Expenditure of up to a maximum of £27,170 for the procurement of M Integrated to re-skin, adapt, update and store 9 Team London Ambassador Pop Up Pods to assist in the delivery of the Team London Visitor Welcome Summer and Christmas deployments of the 2015 Programme.

•    A related exemption from the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to seek three or more competitive quotations/ make a call off from an accessible framework for the provision of these services.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    In the summer of 2012, the GLA delivered a successful Team London Ambassadors programme in support of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 7,000 highly trained and motivated volunteers were deployed in pods across 43 locations in the summer of 2012. The role of the programme was to enhance the visitor welcome to the capital and ensure that London maximised the potential benefits from the 2012 Games.

1.2    In 2013 and 2014 ambassador volunteers were again deployed at locations in London, providing a visitor welcome to London’s tourists. The response from tourists to the ambassadors was overwhelmingly supportive, with 97% of visitors asked commenting positively on the helpfulness of volunteers. 

1.3    Since 2012, Team London has been working with M Integrated (the pod supplier) to enhance and develop the visitor and volunteer experience by producing a central base (information point) that is attractive and informative to visitors, yet sturdy and easy to set up for volunteers.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    This decision seeks to obtain approval to spend up to a maximum of £27,170 to re-skin, adapt, update and store 9 Team London Ambassador Pop Up Pods for the Summer and Christmas deployments of 2015.

Equality comments

3.1    All Team London Ambassadors have been given the opportunity to set up and dismantle the pods within a safe environment. The pods are considered safe by health and safety specialists White Young Green and all protected characteristics have been considered within the design phase. At each location, there are teams of 5-6 Team London Ambassadors, so if someone were unable to assemble the pod due to a disability, another member of the team could help support them to do this. The pods are less that 6ft high and are not difficult or heavy to push, thus making them more accessible to elderly people. Within each pod there is a stool which can be used by someone that has difficulties with standing. Printed around the pods is the word ‘hello’ or ‘welcome’ in a range of different languages in case England isn’t a visitor’s national origin.

Other considerations

4.1    The Team London programme directly supports the Mayor’s priorities to drive volunteering in the capital. Visitor Welcome links to key Mayoral priorities – specifically to improve quality of life, and through training of unemployed volunteers, supports jobs and skills and promotes youth opportunities.

4.2    The programme has been informed by consultation with Team London Ambassador Managers and local stakeholders across London. 

4.3    Officers request approval for an exemption from the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code (“the     Code”) to seek three or more competitive quotations/ make a call off from an accessible framework     for the provision of these services. Section 5.4 of the Code states that an exemption from the Code     may be approved in cases where a supplier is unique in its ability to provide compatibility with an     existing service. 

4.4    Officers confirm that as M-Integrated initially designed and constructed the pods, an exemption from the Code may be approved for the above reasons.

4.5    The work required to adapt the pods only became apparent in May 2015 and due to the timescales involved, i.e with deployment beginning in August, M-Integrated were the most advantageous solution so as not to adversely affect project timescales. A competitive tender process for these services will be undertaken in the autumn of 2015 for future Visitor Welcome deployments.


Risk Description

Mitigation/ risk response

Current Prob (1-4)

Current Impact



GLA risk owner


Contracted organisation does not meet the agreed upon programme outcomes

The risk is low and will be mitigated through close contact. The risk is considered low because the supplier has been working with Team London for the past year.






Financial Mismanagement

The likelihood of over-spend or other financial misconduct is low, and will be mitigated by close budgetary management on the behalf of the GLA project manager, and payment will be dependent on results.





Financial comments

5.    Financial comments

5.1    The proposed contract with M Integrated for the works detailed above will be up to the value of £27,170 and will be funded from the Team London Programme budget for 2015-16, specifically the Visitor Welcome element of the budget.

5.2    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

5.3    The Team London Unit within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing this contract and ensuring that all expenditure adheres to the Authority’s Financial Regulations and Contracts & Funding Code.

6.    Legal comments

6.1    The foregoing sections of this report indicate that:

6.1.1.    Section 34 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 provides that the GLA may do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of any of its functions.  The proposals set out in this paper may be viewed as calculated to facilitate the GLA’s exercising of its function to promote social improvement in Greater London.

6.1.2.    in formulating the proposals in respect of which a decision is sought officers have complied with the GLA’s related statutory duties to:

(a)    pay due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people;
(b)    consider how the proposals will promote the health of persons, health inequalities between persons and to contribute towards achievement of sustainable development in the United Kingdom; 
(c)    consult with the appropriate bodies.
6.2.    The Contracts and Funding Code (“the Code”) requires the GLA to seek 3 or more   written quotes in respect of the services required or call –off the services from an accessible framework. However an exemption from this requirement under section 5 of the Code may be approved upon certain specified grounds. One of those grounds is that the supplier is unique in its ability to provide compatibility with an existing service.  Officers have indicated in this report that this ground applies and that the proposed contract affords value for money.  Officers have also indicated that a competitive process for replacement structures in future and it is important that this is done as soon as practicable.

6.3.    The services required must be procured by Transport for London Procurement who will determine the detail of the procurement strategy to be adopted in accordance with the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Procurement of contract:


Delivery Start Date:


Delivery End Date:

April 2016

Contract Closure:

April 2016