ICT contract extension to save Hartlepool council estimated £330k on top of £5.5million so far

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

Council bosses have given the green light to extended its current ICT contract which is expected to provide £330,000 savings on top of the £5.5million achieved so far.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s finance and policy committee approved plans to negotiate a three-year contract extension with current provider Northgate Public Services (NPS).

The council entered into an ICT contract with NPS in October 2013 and by the end of the original seven-year contract in October 2020 it is expected to have saved £7.1million in baseline ICT contract costs.

The contract had an option allowing an extension up to three years which is now set to be activated, taking the agreement to October 2023.

It is expected to generate a further annual serving of £110,000 each year for the next three years, meaning a total saving of £330,000.

Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “This was one of the first decisions we made as part of this administration and to achieve £5.5million savings so far has really assisted us with the budget pressures we have experienced.

“I am more than happy to support extending the current contract.”

The existing contract delivered an initial annual saving of £700,000 in 2013/14 the first year after it was implemented.

That has subsequently increased to an annual saving of £1.13m in 2018/19 delivered through the contract, which is a reduction of 18% on the 2012/13 cost of ICT.

Over the period 2013/14 to 2018/19 the existing contract will have saved approximately £5.5m.

Council officers also praised Northgate for the economic impact they have had in the borough since the contract began.

Northgate took up a lease at the former Hanson House building in Lynn Street which meant that 175 staff would be located in the borough.

The lease for the building generates £150,000 per year in rental income and a further £43,000 per year in facilities management income for the council.

In addition, 85 new roles have been created over the past five years, including a successful modern apprenticeship programme.

The extension will involve work to refresh ICT hardware to ensure the council maintains a ‘modern, fit for purpose, ICT estate’.

Chris Little, council finance and policy director, said: “Renewal of the contract would achieve further savings on top of their successful work in the borough.

“They have created a lot of jobs since they have been in town, not just for their work with this council but elsewhere.”

Work has already begun with departments in determining an ICT strategy for 2019.

Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service