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NPS Stockport

Arms' Length NPS

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-national concerns by HMRC in order to ensure each unit is paying its fair share of tax. Google, for example, does all its billing from Ireland and Starbucks only pays a small fraction of what is expected in Britain - £10 million on sales of £3 billion.

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

November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
Jan 2012


December 2011
£ 14,531.42
November 2011
October 2011
- bug in Council's webpage - not safely accessible
September 2011
£  3,080.02
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
£ 55,034.08  
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
Feb 2011
£ 49,521.75
Jan 2011
£  5,450.00

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: -  '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 examption to apply).'

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 - they don't seem to have a clue what is going on.

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-mentioned people are fit to hold public office, given the extent of things they are prepared to cover up including offences under the Fraud Act 2006.

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 - of which it is an Arms Length Managment Organisation.
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 - weren't they an efficient monitor?  Were there no earlier warnings?
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".
"Skilled and resourced estate and asset management functions"
"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 -
Barnsley Norse
Clubart Ltd - Lenny Grice a director of Clubart and NPS Stockport - no accounts available for Clubart
Enfield Norse Ltd
Eventguard Limited
GYB Services Ltd
LG Plaster Mouldings - Lenny Grice a director
Hamson Partnership Ltd - Glenn Reynolds a director
Information, Technology and Exchequer Services
John Packer Associates - Glen Reynolds a director
Legislator 1656 - Glen Reynolds a director
Legislator 1657 - Glen Reynolds a direcotor
Martinau Consultancy and Management and Training Ltd
Norfok County Services Transport
Norse Commercial Services Ltd
Norse Transport
NPS Group Ltd
NPS Humber Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
NPS Humber Group - Glen Reynolds a director
NPS Leeds Ltd
NPS London Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
NPS North London Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
NPS North East Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
NPS North West Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
NPS North London Ltd
NPS South East Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
NPS South West Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
Hearth UK Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
Norse Group Ltd
Robson Liddle Ltd - Glen Reynolds a director
Suffolk Coastal Services
Towerholme Services Ltd - Lenny Grice a director  - no accounts available for Towerholme.
Waveney Norse Ltd

NPS Stockport's latest accounts to January 2011.
Unexplained exceptional  credit of £988,000 (2010 - £nil)

Three directors resigned in this year, which is unusual to say the least.
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 - "improving" results but confusing operating comparisons.  What will they do next time, which will be soon, and this figure will not be epeated?  By the time the bottom line emerges, it seems the operation should be left in the hands of actuaries and they should forget building and design.  

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 - suddenly a miracle
Profit           £703,000

Actuaries     £988,000

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 - making direct comparisons far more difficult.

Click opposite to view NPS Stockport's accounts to January 2010.
Turnover £6,335,289
Profit £166,829
Actuarial loss in respect of defined benefit pension scheme £247,000
Loss for the year £11,011
Wages bill - £2,944,492 - 91 employees - average wage £32,357.05
Total Directors' remuneration £100,921
Hilary Louise Jones
Leonard Grice
Clinton Powell
Glen Reynolds
Michael Britch


Accounts for Councillor Lenny Grice's company - LG Plaster Mouldings.
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:-

"Without an AMP the school finances cannot be properly audited .This is compounded by the fact the Vale ViewSchool Project Agreement is shrouded in secrecy and as yet, remains unpublished. Transparency, securty and accountability measures at the SBC are NOT seen to be working."

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:-


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;


Building Surveying

Quantity Surveying

M&E Services

Facilities Management

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.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Burgess
Admin Support
Corporate Information Service
Stockport Council
Town Hall
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 []
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.

Kind regards


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