Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Young People and Learning
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Existing SEND Taxi Framework arrangements are due to expire in July 2022. Westminster City Council are seeking to renew arrangements via a new Framework of taxi providers in order to ensure the continuity of this statutory service. This service is predominantly used by Children and Young People with SEND to travel to and from school. There are a small number of Adults who use this service to access Day Services. This will be jointly procured with The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
1.1. It is recommended that the Cabinet Member for Young People and Learning approves the following recommendations:
a) Approves the recommendation outlined in this report to procure a new Passenger Transport (Taxis) & Travel Care Framework.
b) Approves the recommendation to delegate authority to the Executive Director of Children’s Services to approve the appointment of providers to the Framework.
c) Approves the recommendation that the Bi-Borough Director of Operations & Programmes is given delegated authority to:
(i) Award and enter into taxi route contracts, valued at £100,000 and under, to enable responsiveness to need. Should any taxi route contract be valued at £100,000 or more, that this contract will be awarded by the Executive Director of Children’s Services, in accordance with the WCC’s Procurement Code.
(ii) Review and approve all minor contract variations (up to 10% of the contract value) to ensure they are a compliant modification, whilst also ensuring that there is no disruption of service to vulnerable service users.
d) Approves the decision for WCC to enter into a Collaboration Agreement in respect of any taxi route contract established under the Framework with Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. WCC will be the contracting authority for this framework.
2. Reasons for Decision
2.1. The current Passenger Transport Framework (Taxis) is due to expire on the 31st July 2022. There is a need to put in place the new Framework to ensure continuity of service.
2.2. Local Authorities have a statutory duty to provide travel assistance for Children and Young People with special educational needs & disabilities assessed as eligible, as per the Education Act 1996. The Council’s Travel Assistance Policies set out these duties.
2.3. For Adults, the Care Act 2014 stipulates a duty to Local Authorities to meet assessed needs, and while transport is not a prescribed provision, it may be one way of meeting people’s assessed needs and preferences relating to their personal outcomes towards independence and engagement with the community.
2.4. The service will provide transport for eligible residents in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council, and a Collaboration Agreement between the two Councils will enable them to operate effectively under the Framework.
Publication date: 22/12/2021
Date of decision: 22/12/2021
Effective from: 05/01/2022