'On your bikes,' Hub pair told by forestry landlord

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  • 'On your bikes,' Hub pair told by forestry landlord
  • DT78
    Member

    Yep sucks. Someone must have submitted a better tender though, so maybe the new owners will be even better? You never know. Wonder if loyalty was part of the tender process!

    hora
    Member

    What? What part of their cafe/business did they run badly? Wtf.. Do the powers that be want a mcds there? I don’t get it. Everytime I’ve been I’ve spent loads there and I like the feel of the place. A MILLION miles away from the cyb cafe past and present management.

    TooTall
    Member

    The article is the usual reactionary reporting one expects on a Sunday.
    Bidding for ANYTHING that is public money is complete torture – the whole process is designed to give transparency and ensure all bidders are on a level playing field. It does that, but it means you can’t take anything other than the specified requirements into consideration. Therefore, if another bid was seen, by a panel, as ‘better’, then they get the contract. You couldn’t write a contract saying ‘must have been on site for 10 years’ as nobody else could meet that requirement.

    bigsi
    Member

    Loyalty & large organisations don’t normally go hand in hand.

    Given they have spent the last 10 years helping to build the area up to what it is today i would have hoped they would be given a few years in the new centre to prove they are the right people for the job. If it turned out they weren’t then put it out to tender.

    I guess in this case FCS have decided that business is business but isn’t that the same with the FC all over the UK. If there is a way to screw money out of people then they will 🙄

    100mphplus
    Member

    What goes around comes around!
    The current owners have shat on few people in the past, (I know from personal experience), so I can’t say I’m too sorry!!

    bigsi
    Member

    TooTall – what qualifications/experence do those that make the decisions have that anyone else doesn’t have?

    Bit of a FIFA situation if you ask me in that its a small number of people who make a decision that affects lots of people when the people who make the decision prob will never be users of the facility (I’m not saying the FCS are bent btw)

    hora
    Member

    Could you elaborate 100?

    DT78
    Member

    I’ve had a couple of experiences of tendering for the CS, Tootall is spot on.

    Probably if you could be arsed you could actually get hold of the ITT from the FC too. (not the individual submissions though)

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    Same thing happend at Coed y Brenin didn’t it a few years back??

    backhander
    Member

    Tootall +1.
    I’ve had a little input into writing some tender specs and they generally don’t ensure value at all.
    But, it must be said that this is the nature of working for local councils, government etc. A panel of half wits will choose the most financially attractive tender, and throw the incumbents out with no regard to circumstance. The hub will have known this. I recommend that they speak to ian at the drop off though. 🙂

    TooTall
    Member

    An invitation to tender would have been published. It would have had a number of specific requirements laid out. I don’t know who would have had a hand in the requirements, but I guess it would have been fairly thorough to even get through the higher scrutiny requirements these days.

    Companies would have then had a chance to ask for clarification on any point(s) they were unsure of. The bids would have then been submitted. Those bids would have been assessed VERY carefully, against the original requirements specified. There would have possibly been a down-selection process to weed out those wide of the mark then concentrate on those obviously competitive. The successful bidder would then be announced and those who failed (probably) de-briefed on why they didn’t win. Oh – letters of good standing, etc, etc would also be required to ensure no backers are doing anything naughty or have done in the past.

    bigsi – this sort of process is undertaken by ANY department spending government / public / YOUR money. It is undertaken to ensure no corruption, no bribery, no nepotism and that everyone competing is competing fairly and equally. You might have an issue with anything that employs more than 4 people, but government is striving in all business to be transparent. Those processes (IMHO) sometimes get in the way of better business, but they are fair, even-handed and utterly transparent. If you really want to ask, I guess a few FoI questions would get you everything you want.

    b r
    Member

    And these ‘transparent’ processes are pretty much why only big-businesses manage to win public sector contracts now, and then the jobs move…

    druidh
    Member

    bigsi – Member
    TooTall – what qualifications/experence do those that make the decisions have that anyone else doesn’t have?

    Bit of a FIFA situation if you ask me in that its a small number of people who make a decision that affects lots of people when the people who make the decision prob will never be users of the facility (I’m not saying the FCS are bent btw)

    What do you want – an X Factor vote-off by members of the MTB, walking and general leisure community??

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    That really is an incredibly onesided article. I’m on the fence on this but it seems a bit like the Hub are actively trying to burn their bridges now.

    druidh
    Member

    Pretty shoddy journalism too (but them what do you expect from the Hootsmon)

    The pair claim up to 30 jobs will now be lost at their award-winning café, bike-hire and coaching business.

    But surely there’ll be at least as many “new” jobs created at the new centre?

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Just to be clear on this, it doesn’t always come down to the proposal which offers the highest cash return or savings for the project. Those assessing the project have the option of choosing an other than lowest price option if the selection criteria and weightings have been determined properly in advance. When that happens, the board has to justify the decision and get the justification signed off at the appropriate approval level.

    TooTall – what qualifications/experence do those that make the decisions have that anyone else doesn’t have?

    I’m not sure its a case of qualifications or experience that others don’t have. Organisations like FC will have the same mix of business skills, including accounting, auditing and procurement skills as any organisation of a similar size. Are you suggesting that FC doesn’t have the necessary skills to make decisions of this type?

    Edit: Oh and given the numbers involved, I suspect that this would have to have gone out to European tender, so maybe we’ll end up with a nice Italian cafe bar serving cold glasses of Peroni on the terrace.

    kaesae
    Member

    The FC is useless, look at inner liethen, a car park, some tracks and a hill. The couldn’t run a tap!

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    My experience shows that the company re-tendering for its own business should have the best package. After all they should know the business best and the relevant cost drivers. TT is right about the process. We do live in a commercial world where decisions are based on facts, assessment and analysis not on how long you have been there. I sympathize with them as they built up the business and from sitting on tender boards I know that their proven knowledge and ability would have scored well. Tenders aren’t just about the financial aspects. In many cases these non financial factors score higher than profitability which is to some extent an unknown. What they may have lacked being a relatively small business was capital or funding for long term development of the service and may have higher overheads.

    I also know that these decisions can be legally challenged if something is not right and the losing bids are specifically briefed as in this case to avoid such litigation. If they have a genuine challenge then they should make it otherwise its a fact of commercial life that there was a better bid. Saying its not fair or I have been in here for 10 years is not a basis for a legal challenge.

    In most cases like this the current people are reemployed by the new business so job loss scare is journalist hype.

    As I said, on a personal note I really do sympathize.

    kaesae
    Member

    I agree Pawsy_Bear we do live in a commercial age, however the FC’s decision is not only short sighted, it is incompetent.

    If we set precedents where by the people who create facilities such as glentress can then be swindled out of them. Very few people will be interested in developing the other facilites around the country, what they will do is look to develop other facilities that they can then buy shares of.

    I would not invest a penny in the FC or any of their owned/managed forrests and no one with an ounce of business savvy would either. Further more any long term development needs to be balanced by the fact that you might not get to run the facility past your time of management.

    Not a good decision, in the short term maybe, in the long term and for the rest of the UK’s forrests and mountain biking scene, it shows the same incompetence and lack of vision our government and their lackies are renound for!

    cynic-al
    Member

    Lack of facilities at Inners is because the car park gets flooded.

    kaesae
    Member

    Then why not use some kind of drainage?

    Or what about, BUILDING IT FURTHER UP THE HILL?

    If they can’t even build a car park, what chances of the actual place being developed?

    I wouldn’t hire the Government or thier lackies in the FC to wipe my butt, even if my only other option was to clean it with my tongue

    Hmmm. Now I did like going to the Hub when I lived in Edinburgh, but, IIRC there were excellent trails there BEFORE the Hub turned up. So saying they built the place is not entirely true. Sure, they have helped make the entire experience work, but look at Innerleithen. I’d go to Innerleithen over Glentress most trips when I had the choice, because the trails are better.

    Development is not NEEDED to make a great ride. Great food is not NEEDED to make a great ride. Great trails make great rides.

    Secondly, I know people who have worked for the Hub, and to be honest, it seems from their account that the girls’ attitude to the staff is quite different to the persona they show to the public.

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    I did make the point that this may not be a short term based decision. The present company may not simply have the ability or finance to take on a larger enterprise. You automatically assume that although they have certainly built up the business that they are capable of running a far larger concern? This may not be the case.

    What you should ask is why they failed? Not look for reasons why they should have won the bid. In my opinion they should have had some crucial advantages over an outside bid. But as I said they may just have lacked the financial clout or management skills to run the business. From my experience of this process the current business operators almost always have the advantage. At this stage we simply do not know the facts. Speculation, sympathy and blame will not change anything.

    You need to set emotion to one side. It tends to lead to poor business decision.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Erm kaesae the car park is otherwise on the flood plain, and I’m not sure there’s much flat land nearby that isn’t? Maybe they could build in Venice style on stilts.

    kevonakona
    Member

    “told by email”

    says it all really. Phonecall, personal visit, letter surely they’d be better?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    druidh – Member
    “But surely there’ll be at least as many “new” jobs created at the new centre?”

    No, the new place will employ no people at all. Actually one that made me laugh is people keep saying “The hub employs locals”. What do they think the new people will do, import staff from Norfolk or something?

    “kaesae – Member

    Then why not use some kind of drainage? Or what about, BUILDING IT FURTHER UP THE HILL If they can’t even build a car park, what chances of the actual place being developed??”

    It’s on the flood plain, they’d need to drain the tweed valley. And as you may have noticed, it’s quite a steep hill, that’s why they built some downhill trails on it. It’d be possible to build a floodproof facility there but very expensive.

    druidh
    Member

    kevonakona – Member
    “told by email”

    says it all really. Phonecall, personal visit, letter surely they’d be better?

    I don’t see why a letter would be better than an email, but maybe that’s because I’m under 60 years of age and have got used to this new-fangled electronic communication.

    The problem with other methods is the necessity to tell all the candidates at the same time. I’ve been on the selection side of tendering and this has never once been brought up as an issue. Initial communication is normally followed up by some sort of chat – including some indication of why the bid failed.

    trailmonkey
    Member

    hope the people losing their jobs find work quickly.

    as for the management, they saw an opportunity as entrepeneurs, made hay while the sun shone and have now been ousted by a better bid. no reason at this stage to suggest that things at gt will be any better or worse for the public as a result.

    druidh
    Member

    trailmonkey – Member
    hope the people losing their jobs find work quickly.

    Agreed.

    It would be ideal if a similar facility was opening up close by and needed some staff.

    Oh…..

    SpokesCycles
    Member

    Kaesae- where would you place the carpark then for Inners? The land to the west is owned by estates, and there’s no road access to FC land further up the hill. There’s also not a big area of flat space for a car park further up the hill. Having the carpark flooded isn’t the end of the world, so why not have it in the most convenient place?

    As for the Hub- meh. I expect the new set up will have more than 20 seats inside and will probably be a bit slicker and offer more choice of food. What’s so bad about that?

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    As part of the process they will receive a full written reply and a briefing. Written communication email and paper is preferred as as I have mentioned these process can be subject to legal challenges. An email is just more immediate.

    On a legal point the FC would quite rightly be open to a challenge if it unfairly showed favor in any way to one of the bidders. You have to remember they will have had several bidders and all but one failed. They all have to be treated in exactly the same way without any favoritism. Such challenges can and do result in starting the process all over again resulting in costly delay.

    Pawsy_Bear – Member

    What you should ask is why they failed? Not look for reasons why they should have won the bid. In my opinion they should have had some crucial advantages over an outside bid….. From my experience of this process the current business operators almost always have the advantage.

    +1

    yet they still failed in their tender…..(scratches head)

    Brycey
    Member

    Not sure Inners actually needs a 40 year old Portakabin selling very nice cakes, bog-standard beans on toast, and toasties with fizzy coleslaw for double figures; not to mention a 50 year old Porakabin with a bog in it that’s colder than Siberia. Pieces out of the boot of the car is absolutely fine between uplifts.

    I think the Hub has given a great deal to GT, and is undoubtedly partially responsible for it’s current success. Maybe investing some of that “success” in a bigger, nicer cafe (even just another cabin) would have swung it? Maybe not.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    the real question is who won? and what are they going to do with the concession?

    crikey
    Member

    As one of the ‘target’ users of places like Glentress, I have to say I find the whole who-runs-the-cafe stuff to be of not much interest.

    I’m sure that Tracey and Emma have put lots of work in, and have hopefully made something back for their efforts, but whenever we go, travelling from Manchester, we rarely use the cafe or the Hub shop, and would go even if it wasn’t there; we go to ride, not to eat cake.

    We go to the Lakes a lot, but we don’t worry about where we are going to eat, same with Llandegla, same with CYB; although we go there less because we can get better riding closer to home.

    It’s the trails that count, the rest is just frills.

    haventgotone
    Member

    I only ride my bike for the cake at the end……

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    and the cakes at the Hub are awesome!

    Premier Icon Potdog
    Subscriber

    I do sympathise with the girls too, having built up a business from scratch, it will always feel like you’re being robbed if you then later fail to win a tender or have your lease renewed and see someone else “walk in” and take over the reigns, albeit in a new building on this occasion.

    But as has been said, the girls will have known from day one there there was a certain agreed tenure for them and after that the site would be open to tender again. It was up to them to put in the best tender and win it back for another X years.

    There was obviously something either missing from their tender or they couldn’t offer the same level of lets say service or funding as someone else. Maybe its a good thing that they are moving out as if the foreseen problems were financial, would anyone here want to see the girls struggling to keep afloat 2 or 3 years down the line?

    Best we say thanks for the great food and friendly service and good luck for what ever you decide to do in the future.

    Now what’s on offer from the new tenants in 2012?

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