Local authorities are demonstrating ever more clearly their inability to manage, control and operate via wholly owned subsidiaries, the various functions hitherto run completely in house. This is for a variety of reasons but one cause is their lack of awareness of the fundamental principle of "arms length" relationship in finance, trading and elsewhere. The rules are necessary in order to be able to judge performance but also to let the local management get on with the job and the Authority must act only as shareholders and as such they can get involved only at important meetings like AGMs, EGMs. The operation of this principle is now being examined closely in its nationwide application to multi-
While we must focus on the present triple dip recession, amateurs like Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council should concentrate more on their own business or hire people who can and/or bring everything back indoors.
What we pay NPS Stockport per month
SMBC BUSINESS SERVICES RECHARGEABLE ACCOUNTS PREMISES RELATED Aug-
NPS Stockport currently has just £3,000 in cash and a book value of minus £1.5 million:-
The people of Stockport own 20% of NPS. What does this mean for their investment?:-
NPS Group receives a large amount of public money, but doesn't consider itself subject to the Freedom of Information Act or Environmental Information Regulations 2004. They get round their obligations using a Teckal Exemption which states: -
We see from the reports below from Devon County Council, Norfolk County Council and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council that they possess very little power of decisive influence -
There appear to be very serious problems with NPS Stockport and NPS South West.
I questioned Stockport Council regarding overcharging by NPS on the toxic waste dump school at North Reddish for a very shoddy job. The Council Solicitor, Barry Khan, the Chief Executive Eamonn Boylan, the Leader Susan Derbyshire and the rest of the Executive Councillors knew of the problems with NPS, yet they branded my questions on this matter "vexatious".
Alarm bells are ringing in my head, and they have been for some time, as to whether the above-
The latest financial position of NPS Stockport £3,000 in the bank and a net book value of minus £1.5 million.
These are the questions that need answering regarding NPS Stockport:-
1) Will the Board of NPS Stockport as restructured in early 2011 remain unchanged?
2) What vehicle is the tender process looking at in the context of a new company? Would the existing company cease to exist or the business bealloed to recover under a new regime?
3) Where does the guarantee 12 months from 1/2/11 now stand? (This guarantee from the parent company Norfolk County Council was necessary in order to win the accolade "going concern". What now?
4) It is noted that quarterly reports were required by NPS. Did they not raise the alarm? Quarterly reports are notorious for leading to short term measures for long term problems. How are the rest of the Arms Length Management Organisations (at the same level as NPS Stockport) doing? Have they been profitable and with prospects, unlike NPS Stockport?
5) In the event of a winding up of the present company, what happens to the old company? Will it be left to flounder or would a successful tenderer take over all? Will there be a loss on pension fund liability? What is the score?
The costs rise from £5.5 million to £9.9 million pounds over two pages or a report and I am "vexatious" for questioning this? There is corruption here, and no mistake!
NPS Stockport's area of responsibility.
What Stockport Council got in return from NPS.
Devon County Council has had serious concerns regarding NPS, not least regarding the amount of profit it returns to the Council -
If you click on the various NPS affilited companies' accounts below, you will be able to see that that concern would appear to be completely justified.
Norfolk County Council has serious concerns about NPS.
The report to Scrutiny Committee at Stockport Council regarding NPS Stockport.
Stockport Council is very concerned about what is going on at NPS Stockport.
I wonder why, then, I was "vexatious" for raising concerns about how this company operates.
What is going to happen to NPS Stockport in the event of a tender being established. Will it cease to exist? Who will take over the existing pension fund?
There were quarterly report. Who was monitoring those reports -
NPS's parent company had a turnover of over £105 million.
Gross profit was £27 million yet the operating profit was just £8 million. What happened to the remaining £19 million??????
The Council now talks of "delivery of property services aligned to the Council's Estate Strategy and Asset Managment Plan".
"Incentivised cost savings on behalf of the Council"
"Flexible. proactive, innovated and incentivised service delivery that maximises value for money benefits"
"Strategic performance management against defined and measurable standards"
Are these not first principles, so what is new?
NPS started in 1994.
Related companies -
Clubart Ltd -
Enfield Norse Ltd
GYB Services Ltd
LG Plaster Mouldings -
Hamson Partnership Ltd -
Information, Technology and Exchequer Services
John Packer Associates -
Legislator 1656 -
Legislator 1657 -
Martinau Consultancy and Management and Training Ltd
Norfok County Services Transport
Norse Commercial Services Ltd
NPS Group Ltd
NPS Humber Ltd -
NPS Humber Group -
NPS Leeds Ltd
NPS London Ltd -
NPS North London Ltd -
NPS North East Ltd -
NPS North West Ltd -
NPS North London Ltd
NPS South East Ltd -
NPS South West Ltd -
Hearth UK Ltd -
Norse Group Ltd
Robson Liddle Ltd -
Suffolk Coastal Services
Towerholme Services Ltd -
Waveney Norse Ltd
NPS Stockport's latest accounts to January 2011.
Unexplained exceptional credit of £988,000 (2010 -
The Share Capital is £10 (8 ordinary 'A' shares and 2 ordinary 'B' shares).
In all respects they rank Pari Passu, so why the two types?
The principal activity of the firm is professional property consultants, services in architecture, design, building surveying, CDM, and project management. The majority of its business comes from Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and it has a strong relationship with Stockport Homes.
In the June 2010 budget the Government switched from RPI to CPI (lower) measure of inflation for statutory pensions. The effect of this in the accounts is to cut down past provision for pensions liability by £998,000 -
The bottom line was a profit of £703,000 but this was after taking in the actuaries contribution of £988,000 and in "cost of sales" and interest (notional) reduction of £150,000 -
Really a Loss of
The company insurance specifically excludes directors or officers acting fraudulently or dishonestly.
As the company deals mainly with public authorities, whose account year always ends at the 31st March, it is confusing that these companies accounts year end in February -
Click opposite to view NPS Stockport's accounts to January 2010.
Actuarial loss in respect of defined benefit pension scheme £247,000
Loss for the year £11,011
Wages bill -
Total Directors' remuneration £100,921
Hilary Louise Jones
Accounts for Councillor Lenny Grice's company -
No accounts available for 2010.
It would appear Councillor Grice did not declare this interest in the register of members interests. I have asked him to clarify this for me and should I ever get a response from him, I shall post it up.
For Vale View School legally there should be an Asset Management Plan. There isn't. I quote from the posting below:-
We paid NPS £550,000 property fees for this school. Why hasn't this vital requirement been dealt with?
NPS can get around the Freedom of Information Act and the European tendering process by use of a Teckal exemption. Please see the article opposite.
Email received from Stockport Council FOI Officer on 15th February 2013 at 11.22
3) What SEMMMS work has NPS done for that huge sum of money? NPS is so incompetent I am quite heartened to see
NPS (Stockport and Norwich offices) have provided professional advice on land and property related matters including acquisition and compensation along the proposed scheme route. This has also involved liaison with landowners affected by the scheme proposals and local residents.
4) What were these architects' fees for:-
NPS STOCKPORT LTD
ARCHITECT FEES AUGUST 2012
These fees relate to various professional services undertaken relating to the month of August for 125 different projects across the S.M.B.C. portfolios.
These Services include;
Estates and Asset Management
Dear Ms Oliver,
Thank you for your request for information, which has been given reference 5695. Please quote this on any correspondence regarding your request.
Stockport Council will respond to your request within 20 working days. If there will be a charge for disbursements e.g. photocopying in order to provide the information, we will inform you as soon as possible to see if you wish to proceed; however such charges are usually waived if they amount to less than £10.
Corporate Information Service
Tel: 218 1087
Fax: 474 4006
Confidentiality: This email, its contents and any attachments are intended only for the above named. As the email may contain confidential or legally privileged information, if you are not, or suspect that you are not, the above named or the person responsible for delivery of the message to the above named, please delete or destroy the email and any attachments immediately and inform the sender of the error.
From: Sheila Oliver [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 14 May 2012 17:36
To: FOI Officer
Subject: Teckal exemption re NPS
Dear FOI Officer
I am asking re the Teckal exemption in relation to NPS Stockport:-
a.. in order to satisfy the first condition of the Teckal exemption, the
controlling contracting authority (or contracting authorities) must possess
"a power of decisive influence over both strategic objectives and
significant decisions of the other legal entity" (i.e., the more
independently the entity in question is able to act, the less likely it is
for the Teckal exemption to apply);
Could I please have details of Stockport's "power of decisive influence over both strategic objectives and significant decisions of the other legal entity" (NPS).
Also, please can I have details of how the Council is satisfied that there is a robust and transparent value for money situation with regards to NPS Stockport because, to be honest, I have my doubts about that.