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Have you ever worked on one of these scoring spreadsheets, to help make a decision. Which project to take on, whether or not a project is worth doing, which of many options to choose. I have. It's a doddle. Obviously the approach has to give the appearance of objectivity, but clearly the only reason for doing it is to arrive at the answer you first thought of. If you don't want to do the project then it won't be viable. If your favourite among the options is actually a bit more expensive/risky/unsustainable/flaky/unsociable/otherwise questionable than all the others then it just needs to score a bit higher on the spreadsheet than al the others to get chosen anyway.

That, perfectly evidently, is what has happened to the scoring on the Hornsey Town Hall procurement project. One of the many press releases / mailshots / blogs / Facebook posts put out by the Labour supporters of the project claims that FEC-OFF (Far East Consortium - OFFicially recommended as preferred bidder) is 15.6% better than its nearest rival. This is based on the starting matrix:

There's no question this creates the illusion of objectivity. Note, though, that the bidder's intention to involve stakeholders counts for sweet Fanny Adams. Pretty much on a par with Haringey Council's  intention to involve stakeholders

But, here's my take on the 21% attributed to Community Use. How do we go about marking this, bearing in mind that Claire Kober stated unequivocally (yes, OK, I do understand, she's a politician , so "unequivocal" = "open to interpretation") that if the offer did not meet the minimum standards it would be chucked out.

Well, I've taken as a basis, the HTHCT consultation, published back in the old days when they were allowed to talk to us.

Community Use and Access scoring spreadsheet
FEC / COPLAN Tishman Consortium
%age Score (out of 10) Weighted Score Score (out of 10) Weighted Score
Creative Arts Uses 27.8 0 0 10 8.34
Community Facility 22.64 5 3.396 10 6.792
Educational Opportunities 12.86 0 0 5 1.929
Business Space 10.55 0 0 10 3.165
Hire for Ceremonies/Events 9.15 10 2.745 10 2.745
Cafe/Restaurant 7.83 10 2.349 10 2.349
Other 2.89 0 0 0 0
Heritage Tours 0.93 3 0.0837 5 0.1395
Hotel 0.37 10 0.111 0 0
95.02 Total 8.6847 Total 25.4595

 So, what we have here:

Column 1 - the headings from the HTHCT consultation / graph

Column 2 - the percentage of respondents who favoured that particular option

Column 3 (blue) - the preferred bidder mark out of 10

Column 4 (blue) - the preferred bidder percentage score (Column 2 * 3)

Column 5 (red)   - the discarded bidder mark out of 10

Column 6 (red)  - the discarded bidder percentage score (Column 2 * 5)

Now, this is where you have to moderate for my subjectivity.

I've given FEC-OFF 0 for Creative Arts - they are offering rooms for hire (not good enough-chuck 'em out Claire), against 10 for the alternative bid (20,000 sq ft of space)

I've given FEC-OFF 5 for Community Use - they are offering rooms for hire , against 10 for the alternative bid (20,000 sq ft of space, plus an Arts Centre)

I've given FEC-OFF 0 for Educational Opportunities - they are offering rooms for hire (not good enough-chuck 'em out Claire), against 5 for the alternative bid (20,000 sq ft of space)

I've given FEC-OFF 0 for Business Space - they are offering rooms for hire (not good enough-chuck 'em out Claire), against 10 for the alternative bid (20,000 sq ft of space)

Ceremonies/Events and Cafe/Restaurant and Heritage Tours and Other(?) are not significantly different between the two.

But FEC-OFF scores 10 against the runner-ups nil for Hotel.

Tot up the weighted scores - it's 3:1 in favour of the discarded option.

You have a bash. The table should copy into your favourite spreadsheet. Make it come out the way you want.

Tags: dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, ojeu, tax haven

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I'm wondering about the likely profitability of the hotel proposed for HTH. The preferred bidder's other hotel in Shepherds' Bush made an operating profit of £928,805 in the year to March 2016, on a turnover of about £10m, according to the accounts of the company that operates it (Dorsett London Hotel Ltd.)This was apparently a good year for London hotels.

This other hotel as six times as many rooms as the one proposed for HTH, from what I understand, and it's situated on a main road a short walk from a Tube station on the edge of central London. If this hotel makes less than a million pounds in profit in a good year, then how much profit can the HTH hotel be expected to make?

And what happens if the HTH hotel doesn't make a profit? Put another way: what happens if the developer has already reaped the profits from the residential development at the back of the site, then decides that the hotel isn't viable in its current form? FEC got planning permission for the Shepherds Bush hotel, based on 242 rooms, then went back later and got permission to expand this to 317 rooms. The group was quite open beforehand about the fact that it might do so, in the interests of maximising its profits, so it's reasonable to think that having got the lease, it might go back to Haringey later and ask for significant changes. The Council won't have much leverage at this point, in practice.


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