OPS105 - Review of Catering Service at Touchstones

Closed 12 Dec 2012

Opened 18 Sep 2012


Outline of Proposal

In 2003 when Touchstones Heritage Centre opened, Facilities Management was asked to provide an on site café for six months whilst it was tendered under the Best Value initiative. The café was tendered but no company or individual expressed an interest in operating it. Facilities Management continued to operate it in partnership with Link4life. The partnership operates on a shared risk/profit basis based on an agreed Service Level Agreement (SLA).

However, the café has never made a financial return for both parties. During 2011/12 the Council decided to close the heritage centre on Mondays, further reducing the café's ability to maintain income levels.

It is clear that the present arrangement creates a drain on resources and a financial loss to the Council. Therefore the Council is recommending that it withdraws from the SLA with Link4Life.

General Impact

By withdrawing from the SLA it will remove the £13k budget pressure and allow Facilities Management to utilise its resources more effectively.

Impact on Service Users

Link4Life will be exploring options for the future of the café. However if alternative options for running it are not identified, it will close. The Bistro facility at the Town Hall provides an excellent alternative for visitors to Touchstones. 

The indicative saving for this proposal is £13,000.

As the proposal will affect service users, we have undertaken an Equality Impact Assessment to identify likely or actual effects on people with protected characteristics. The Equality Impact Assessment will be reviewed and updated as required, taking account of consultation feedback.


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