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Procurement & Oversight of Welcome to Yorkshire

Gwen Swinburn made this Freedom of Information request to North York Moors National Park Authority as part of a batch sent to 23 authorities

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Dear FOI

I am trying to discover the procurement and governance arrangements regarding your procurement, oversight and evaluation of activities and services procured from Welcome to Yorkshire

1. For every year since 2010 please provide recorded information of all payments made by the authority to Welcome to Yorkshire. Please identify within those payments those payments related to a) subscriptions, b) those related to TDF and TDY and other cycle races and (c) other matters

2. As Welcome to Yorkshire is it seems a private company, yet in receipt of tens of millions of taxpayers investment, without public sector ownership, the authority has to procure within EU, UK public sector procurement rules and your own authority requirements. Accordingly, please provide within this request in (1) for each financial year since 2014/5 -2018/9 (to date) an annotation of where the spend decision was made, if a tender or other process was undertaken and specific committee/Exec Member or Officer recorded decision & report. If no decision record please advise.

3. Please confirm and provide recorded information that, as this is a private company, that you satisfied yourselves and members that at no time were you breaching State Aid rules. If no such record exits please advise.

4. Please provide for each cycle race the business case and evaluation as submitted to members. If none provided please advise.

5. Please confirm if any internal audits were undertaken by your authority on any expenditure with W2Y, please provide all recorded information on these. If none undertaken, please advise.

Yours faithfully,

Gwen Swinburn

General, North York Moors National Park Authority

2 Attachments

Dear Gwen,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information Act Request received on Tuesday
26 March 2019.

The Authority has 20 working days to respond to the request. Therefore you
will receive a response by Thursday 25 April 2019.

Yours sincerely,

Lucy Webster

Business Administration Apprentice
Customer Services

North York Moors National Park Authority
The Old Vicarage
Bondgate
Helmsley
North Yorkshire
YO62 5BP

01439 772700
[1][email address]
[2]www.northyorkmoors.org.uk

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Vanessa Burgess, North York Moors National Park Authority

2 Attachments

Sent on behalf of Ian Nicholls, Head of Corporate Services

 

 

Dear Gwen

 

Thank you for your email dated 26 March 2019 in which you asked a number
of questions relating to the procurement and governance arrangements in
any activities or services bought from Welcome to Yorkshire (WtY). As I’m
sure you are aware, the Authority’s financial transactions and committee
papers are already a matter of public record and therefore available to
you.

 

In order to try and be helpful however, I have collated relevant
information and explanations in this email and the table below.

 

The subscription costs to WtY are part of the Authority’s annual tourism
budget.  The Authority’s annual budgeting process is conducted in public
at our Finance committee and full Authority meetings with tourism budgets
forming part of this process. Members did not approve individual payments
of the value detailed in the table below and are not required to do so by
our Financial Regulations, but do approve our Tourism budget (£39.5K) and
know that the Authority subscribes to WtY. The ‘other’ costs detailed in
the table cover a wide range of minor purchases including merchandise for
our Visitor Centres and some small scale advertising. No payments have
been made to WtY for cycle races to take place in the North York Moors.

 

2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
Subscription 1,455.83 1,486.80 12,000.00 12,000.00 12,000.00 12,000.00 12,000.00 12,000.00 12,000.00
Other 3,117.51 1,398.49 270.00 1,020.00 720.00 900.00

 

 

Your email enquiry appears to centre around the payment of tax payer funds
to WtY. The Authority has, in the last 2 financial years, made payments of
private sector money, £206,800 (2017/18) and £212,800 (2018/19), to WtY.
These payments have been made as a result of the substantial package of
environmental/social/economic mitigation and compensation measures set out
in the planning application, approved conditions and related legal
(‘Section 106’) agreements in relation to the Woodsmith mine development
near Whitby. Background information about the development, planning
application and Section 106 agreement can be found via
[1]https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/planni...

 

The planning application and Section 106 agreement were considered very
much in public, after a long period of public consultation,  in October
2015 by the Authority’s members and the decision to give approval to the
whole package was given with advice from an experienced QC. The payments
to WtY are via a service level agreement for a wide variety of actions
which are all evidenced and accounted for. There is also a clause which
requires WtY to pay back monies to the Authority if agreed actions are not
undertaken to the required standard. Officers insisted that this be
included so that good value for money could be assured.

 

The Authority works with WtY to build awareness of the North York Moors
with domestic audiences. The service level agreement is supplemented by a
negotiated annual schedule of services. To date, our visitor research,
alongside our North York Moors Destination Plan
([2]https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/lookin...
has been used to identify target markets and hone the activity delivered
by WtY.

 

The activity is supplementary to WtY’s core promotional work and is
non-exclusive i.e it is not restricted to WtY members, all businesses in
the North York Moors benefit. Call to actions primarily drive traffic to
the North York Moors National Park website, not Yorkshire.com.

 

The following  year’s activity is informed by the findings of an annual
evaluation, which comprises independent research assessing the campaigns
effectiveness, (online survey and face-to-face visitor interviews),
research panels testing the creatives used (brand and advert awareness and
recall), plus a wealth of data from any digital activity e.g. reach, click
through rates, cost per view, as well as North York Moors National Park’s
ongoing visitor and non-visitor surveys.

 

As stated above, all payments of S106 monies to WTY were part of the
identified compensation and mitigation elements in accordance with the
express terms of the public S106 Agreement and general Section 106
principles.

 

You might wish to know that, as far as we are aware, we hold no
information for which we would wish to claim exemptions from publishing
under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Ian Nicholls

Head of Corporate Services

 

North York Moors National Park Authority

The Old Vicarage

Bondgate

Helmsley

York

YO62 5BP

 

Tel: 01439 772700

[3]www.northyorkmoors.org.uk

[4]Follow us on Twitter | [5]Like us on Facebook

 

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Dear Vanessa Burgess,

Thank you for this helpful reply. May I ask that the table copied into the response is appended as without the tabs the figures become gobbledygook.

Secondly for the S106 contributions and the related SLA, is it possible it can be added to the information also, considering it is over £400k.

Yours sincerely,

Gwen Swinburn

Vanessa Burgess, North York Moors National Park Authority

2 Attachments

Good morning Gwen

I've forwarded your e-mail to our Head of Corporate Services, Ian Nicholls
for him to respond. Please be aware he has quite a full work calendar this
week, so it may be a few days before he can respond to this further
request.

Kind regards

Vanessa
Vanessa Burgess
Committees & Customer Services Officer
North York Moors National Park Authority
The Old Vicarage
Bondgate
Helmsley
York
YO62 5BP

Tel: 01439 772700
Email: [1][email address]

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Gwen Swinburn please sign in and let everyone know.