Special Cabinet meeting called to approve £1.6m contract for Royal Haskoning DHV

Due to the urgency of the Solent Ocean Energy Centre project, a special meeting has been called to approve the contract and call in disapplied.

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Isle of Wight council Cabinet members will be holding a special Cabinet meeting next Thursday (25th July) to consider contractor approval for two lots of work relating to the Solent Ocean Energy Centre (SOEC).

Papers released today reveal, Royal Haskoning DHV, a Dutch company specialising in project management, engineering and consultancy, has successfully bid for the tender to carry out site surveys and front end engineering design on the SOEC project.

As the combined maximum value is £1,627,601, the decision to award the contract will go to Cabinet members next week.

Call-in disapplied
The papers go on to say that Cllr Geoff Lumley, chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, has agreed, given the short timescales and its importance to the local economy, that provision for scrutiny ‘call in’ be disapplied.

Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre Ltd
The council is part of a joint venture company, Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre Ltd (PETEC) which it’s established with the private sector to develop the SOEC project.

The council has one seat on the board (represented by Stuart Love, Director of Economy and Environment) and a 15% shareholding.

Boosting employment
The report, embedded below for your convenience states that over the lifetime of the project, the SOEC will create or safeguard 600 full time equivalent jobs with at least 30% of these being on the Isle of Wight.


Image: Striatic under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 19th July, 2013 11:51am

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Filed under: Business, Green Issues, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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59 Comments on "Special Cabinet meeting called to approve £1.6m contract for Royal Haskoning DHV"

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lardi

At last, some progress on the most powerful source of clean energy the Island has, i.e. the tide. This is much better than upsetting all those lovely people in Wellow etc with windmills.

peaceful_life

Clean?

Black Dog
Am I missing something here? We are a part of a joint venture compsny, 15%, and the 1.6 milliom pound contract is down to the council or is it just 15% of 1.6 million? I for one would want scrutiny to call this one in to examine the contract to see exactly what Mr Love and the previous regime signed us up for. Are we just cash… Read more »
woodworker
this is the second time call in has been dis-applied. will it become a habit? there surely can be no reason to fear a call in if jobs are done properly and the correct decision made. I also wonder why there is such urgency? why were these decisions not made in plenty of time? ok, theres been an election, but so what – surely there must be… Read more »
CB500

I was under the impression before the election that the independants would be all over the previous administration’s decisions. However, it seems they are willing to just wave them through. Does anyone know what is happening regarding Blackgang viewpoint? You would hope that if the council called off any deal then the respected local preferred bidder would not call in the lawyers.

peaceful_life

Special cabinet meeting called.

That’s interesting.

Bystander

the last lot would have just made it a delegated decision

peaceful_life

Does it matter the semantics of terms used for the process?

Where are the details?

Bystander

Perhaps it might help if you supplied details of exactly what you’re talking about

peaceful_life
I thought we were all talking about tidal energy? So if we are, what are the specs of the plant, or is it just to flap in the wind of R&D? If not, then what’s the EROEI of the systems that’s planned, what’s it for?….electricity for household consumption?…electrolysis of water to create hydrogen? What’s it lifespan against salt water corrosion? How will it be maintained? Ecological impacts?… Read more »
Bystander
Fine, thanks that’s much better. I didn’t deduce that from “Special cabinet meeting called. That’s interesting.” I agree these are all points which the Cabinet taking the hasty decision should have a full understanding of, along with a grasp of the full terms of the contract – If there’s time, of course!! It’s all remind me of one of those offers on the Internet “Buy now –… Read more »
tryme
I enjoy peaceful_life’s economical style! I hope it doesn’t change. It’s not a bad thing to have to think a bit about a different way of doing things. It’s true that when another poster throws something else into the pot a reader can wonder what a next comment applies to, but in this case the ‘speacial cabinet meeting’ is in the first line or two of the… Read more »
Bystander

But if in doubt, ask

tryme

I thought I noted an element of displeasure in your responses, rather than a straightforward ask/receive info. But absolutely, when in doubt, ask!

tryme

Mind you, I see that p_l had just given a slightly prickly response to you. These things tend to snowball…

Bystander

well its bound to happen given that we are all social misfits. After all it’s 28°C, none of us live further than 10 miles from a beach and we are spending our time commenting on a local blog. And before anyone says some of us are reading OTW on the beach, thats even worse :)

tryme

Ha! I see I managed to avoid qualifying as a misfit by a matter of minutes, by getting out to the Rhythmtree festival today. Though I recognise this is usually apt, and treasure that status too.

Colin

Will create or safeguard 600 jobs?

yeah, right.

How many new permanent full time jobs will be created on the island?

Not many, if any.

Having said that, I agree with the urgency. Research and development money is being allocated elsewhere and it needs getting on with.

peaceful_life

R&D has been stifled since the 80’s, we’re now at 2013, OFGEM agree with the urgency too, there are about 100 tidal energy plants deployed worldwide with an average EROEI of 15-1, obviously a sliding scale as the base load (fossil fuels) gets more expensive.

Albert Street
Has anyone seen the contract? Given the recent named voting motion approved at council, perhaps the entire cabinet can confirm that they have read the contract and fully understand the implications and exactly what they will be voting for? I do not trust the officers who drafted the paper nor do I trust Stuart Love or his skills. Wake up Independents and start examining the old deals… Read more »
Cynic

Does this mean that the worst case scenario is that the IWC (i.e. we) would have to pay £1,627,601 to create 180 Island jobs (i.e. £9042 to create each job)?

How long would those jobs last- is this another “Vestas”?

martin william wareham

My concern is that the Council is being railroaded into this scheme and One Million Pounds of Islanders money will be thrown into St Catherines deep and never seen again.

peaceful_life

Well what’s the protocol for calling a special cabinet meeting, who sanctioned it, councillors, officers, who?

Albert Street
We all know that Cabinet members read and participate here on OTW so why have they not commented on this very important matter? Do give us your views even if it is to say “yes we will all read the contract and attempt to understand it fully before we vote” In the past I have been criticized because I have made observations about the head of Scrutiny… Read more »
tryme

I think Cllr Lumley has more than ‘proved himself’ many times over, as opposed to just snapping luxuriously from the sidelines as we do here.

Bystander

So Loves on the board and normal scrutiny practice is curtailed – act in haste repent at leisure

tryme

That is truly alarming..

peaceful_life

@Bystander.

Given the various vagaries, you’d think it prudent to consult the opinions of an impartial energy expert, wouldn’t you?…..no great leap of logic is it?

peaceful_life

Unless of course, there are some already representing us in the cabinet.

Know of any?

Bystander

What it calls for is scrutiny to ask these questions isn’t it? If theres time of course!

peaceful_life
Absolutely, but…you can’t ask these questions if they are not in ones current field of vision, so…information, and impartial advice is everything, if we don’t have that then we’re just nodding to received wisdom. We cannot scrutinise through a lens of ignorance, and it’s no good simply sticking to the vector of energy, there’s far more attached to it, so…a well informed holistic analysis is needed. So….who’s… Read more »
Bystander

Well nobody by the sounds of it.

This was put in place by the last shower and Stuart Love is on the board, that rings alarm bells with me. Isn’t this precisely what scrutiny should be looking at? Obviously the impartial expert advice to allow them to understand the issues.

phil jordan
A feasibility study was carried out way back in December 2006.. http://www.solentoceanenergy.com/marine_energy_centre_report_%203_jan_07.pdf It’s an interesting read and does contain a fair amount of detail together with diagrams of the type of equipment that is possible. The investment by the Council (however you wish to calculate it…) is to do mainly with Phase 1 and is proportionate within the £1.5M. Phase 2 is likely to cost in the… Read more »
Bystander

Thanks for that Phil, in that case does Geoff have a full understanding of all this entails? Or is he too swatting away trying to come to terms with something not within his expertise in time for the meeting arranged solely to approve it.

Bystander

Seeing as the Cabinet meeting is being called specifically to approve the contract and call in disapplied, do the Cabinet members themselves have any choice is this? If not whats changed from the last regime?

peaceful_life
I’m not being facetious with the question, I’m quite simply being honest, if there is no one in the council (or officers) with the background that can analyse these things, then who’s going to?….and if there isn’t anyone, why then haven’t they asked for expert opinion to enlighten themselves on the variable dynamics, and indeed….just who are they listening to, if anyone? Perhaps they would have to… Read more »
Albert Street
Thank you to Phil Jordan for coming forward with his views and I for one am pleased to hear that he will be taking a long hard look at the motion and will vote based on his research. Phil, my concern is that we, the Isle of Wight, via our council are getting a fair share of the cake, I am in total agreement on the need… Read more »
tryme
I’m very impressed by Phil Jordan’s reply. A) That he took the trouble and time, and B) at the range and intensity of his responsibilities, and his grasp, just on this topic. It’s not the only thing he’s dealing with either! He wasn’t joking when he initially told us he was (paraphrasing) blown over by the amount of work presenting itself to him in his new job.… Read more »
peaceful_life

I’m not, but I am grateful for his contribution.

tryme

I would have thought you might agree with my A), and most of my B). But as to his ‘grasp’, I am indeed not the best qualified person to comment.

peaceful_life
Sorry, yes of course, I genuinely appreciate Phil’s response, but my response does read quite ungrateful to both you, and Phil, it was late, I offer my apologies to you both. My frustration isn’t with Phil at all, it’s the entire situation, as you say people already have a range and intensity to cover, and to now be left start analysing these things is neither fair, not… Read more »
tryme

No apologies needed on my account thanks, peaceful_life!

(Btw I enjoyed the touch of the Count Arthur Strongs towards the end…)

peaceful_life
Hi Phil. Thanks for the response, much appreciated and noted. Firstly, we’ve got to do the boring, but, needed bit, it’s needed for a fuller picture. At some point we’re going to have this conversation, and as things will appear to become more convoluted, all we need to do is refer to the physics, the realities, if you will. You’re referring to the Rance tidal turbine in… Read more »
Bystander

Of course if the contract had been slightly less ad under £1.5 million we wouldn’t even be having this conversation as there would be no need for the Cabinets approval, worrying isn’t it?

Albert Street
What ever the pros and cons of Tidal Energy and this project we need to ensure that the Isle of wight and Islanders have a fair and proportionate seat at the table. As I have said before 15% stake-holding with apparently 100% financial exposure is commercial madness. I wonder what has happened to all the independents who post here? Why have we not heard from the Cabinet… Read more »
steve s

No, we haven’t been gagged. We’re busy doing the job we’ve been elected to do. Part of that involves reading documentation and taking part in discussion which will lead us to a sensible decision on Thursday.

Albert Street
Glad to hear that you have not been gagged. However I do wonder what Councillors are reading – Documents prepared officers who are responsible for the mess we are in, I suspect. Steve you and your colleagues should be very suspicious and not get railroaded into making a decision. As I stated above Love and Burbage know the timelines so why was this not flagged up earlier?… Read more »
tryme
I would rather not seem to be included in your ‘We would appreciate your reply’ Albert Street, as I don’t know enough to express an opinion, and wouldn’t want spurious pressure to be brought to bear on these hardworking and trail-blazing councillors. Please speak for yourself, identify who you mean, or say ‘some of us’. And it does not impress me that you speak so disrespectfully at… Read more »
Albert Street
I would not dream of including you in my request as that would be presumptuous. I do however take your point. What I can not accept is you accusing me of being disrespectful at times, clearly you have either misread my posts or not understood my questions. They relate to the validity of the deal and the apparent Lemming style rush to ratify the contract and nothing… Read more »
tryme

I was moved to write my post by yours of 22 July 10.31am, Albert Street, which I do think makes unfair aspersions on the Indie councillors – though I missed the word ‘like’ [Mr Jordan], and thought you were specifically marking him out: sorry about that. Thank you for appreciating what I meant about the ‘we’.

Bystander

count me in

Bystander

Albert and me
Aint the ‘Royal we’

phil jordan
Albert Street, I and some of my colleagues are asking the questions (and others) that you want answers to. We are going to be briefed more fully before Thursday. Bear with me and I will try to get back to you later this week. Couple of other things. We are not being asked to decide about a tidal energy farm….that is an aspirational part of the project.… Read more »
Colin

here’s a link to one that was made earlier…

http://www.seageneration.co.uk/

Black Dog

Look at this Australian product already tried and tested.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5qNGJb5nyw

Bystander
I feel that the problem here is that the officers of this Council are the remnants of the former despised regime, they aided Beynon and Pugh in the way the Council was run. Now they are recommending the new Council to approve this contract, Stuart Love is on the board and I would imagine they are also supplying the documentation and leading the discussion in persuading the… Read more »
Albert Street
@phol Jordan Thankyou for your frank and open reply, I do not have an issue with you as I do believe you care which is why you ran for public office. I do not believe I have misunderstood the the Root and Branch objectives as this subject matter is very much part of that process – decisions of the previous council. I would not expect you to… Read more »
martin william wareham

Albert street I concur the agenda is being driven by officers from the previous discredited Conservative regime not only are there too many but they are of a very poor standard and should be replaced. All I ask of our Councillors is treat the money we pay in Council tax as your own would you spend it on this scheme.

Albert Street

Apologise my first line should have read Phil. Sorry Phil thats the problem of having fat fingers on a small android keyboard.