Decision Maker: Leader of the Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To approve an extension to the Fastershire Partnership agreement between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council to 31 March 2024. The aim of the Fastershire project is to improve broadband availability across the two counties to support businesses, communities, and individual households to become more digitally connected.
The Fastershire project is nearing its conclusion with 97% of the county having the opportunity to access Superfast Broadband. The proposed one-year extension to the partnership agreement will ensure the Fastershire Team remains in place to manage the closedown of existing Stage 3 Regional delivery contracts with Gigaclear and support the delivery of Stage 5 Fastershire community grants.
The report also seeks approval to extend the completion date for two contracts awarded to Gigaclear as part of Stage 3 of the Fastershire delivery programme. This change request is linked to a previous change request agreed in December 2021.
• Lot 2/3c - from December 2022 to December 2023
• Lot 3e – from September 2022 to June 2023
In coming to this decision I have given due and full regard to the requirements of the public sector equality duty contained in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”) by reference to the law itself and also the relevant Equality Impact Assessment, which was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
Having fully considered all the available information, I have decided to reject the alternative options and take the recommended decision to:
1. Approve the time extensions requested by Gigaclear in respect of the following two existing regional contracts for the delivery of broadband infrastructure between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council and Gigaclear that were awarded as part of Stage 3 of the Fastershire delivery programme described in paragraph 4 in this report:
a) a 12-month extension (expiring December 2023) to the term of a contract relating to the provision of such services in the Gloucestershire west of the River Severn locality under Lots 2-3c thereof.
b) a 9-month extension (expiring June 2023) to the term of a contract relating to the provision of such services in the south Gloucestershire locality under Lot 3e thereof.
c) Approve the principles agreed by Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council described in paragraphs 7 to 15 in this report which provide the cornerstones of a Transition Agreement that will cover the voluntarily disengagement from the Fastershire project by both parties on the 31 March 2024.
d) Delegate authority to the Executive Director of Economy, Environment, and Infrastructure in consultation with the Leader of the Council to incorporate the above-mentioned principles into the Transition Agreement with Herefordshire Council. Once finalised such Transition Agreement will become supplemental to the existing Fastershire Partnership Agreement between Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council.
For the reasons set out in the report.
Publication date: 27/03/2023
Date of decision: 27/03/2023
Effective from: 04/04/2023