DD2035 Interim Culture Staffing 2016/17

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
24 August 2016
Decision by: 
Martin Clarke, Executive Director of Resources

Executive summary

This document concerns the additional interim staffing requirement for the Culture Team for the period September 2016 to March 2017 to deliver the Mayor’s cultural ambitions. In particular, this support will provide expert resource and additional administrative support to develop manifesto commitments which include delivering: a Culture Infrastructure Plan, Creative Enterprise Zones programme, a Night Czar and the London Borough of Culture programme. 



The Executive Director approves:

1.    expenditure of up to £100,000 from the Communities and Intelligence Minor Programme budget for 2016/17.  This budget will cover costs associated with appointment of up to three fixed-term posts and two freelance contracts, as set out in Part 1 of this report; and

2.    a related exemption from the requirements of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code (which normally requires the GLA to seek three or more quotations for goods or services between £10,000 and £150,000) to contract Sound Diplomacy (to the value of £38,000, of which £28,000 is included in the above expenditure and the remaining approved in MD1610)

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

In his election manifesto, the Mayor has committed to deliver on a number of cultural plans and policies over his four year term. A Culture & Creative Industries Delivery Group has now been set up to oversee delivery and monitoring of these manifesto pledges.  Proposals for the delivery of the pledges have now been developed. It has become evident that additional staffing resource is required to push these programmes forward in order to meet the key milestones on time. 

This DD seeks approval for the expenditure of GLA funds in order to provide the appropriate resources to deliver the Mayor’s cultural ambitions to undertake the following:

1)    Night Time Commission – requirement to contract Sound Diplomacy for £38,000 from now to the end of March 2017. Of this amount, £10,000 was approved on MD1610. An additional £28,000 is now being requested. Due to the urgency of this work, the absence of any other suitable consultants, and this work being a Manifesto Commitment of the new Mayor, this work has already started. See the attached Single Source Form for further details.

Sound Diplomacy Consultancy were originally contracted following a competitive tendering process, in which three quotes were received, in February 2016 to set up and run the Night Time Commission. The value of this initial contract was £15,000. 

The requirement is to contract Sound Diplomacy for a further £38,000 under a single source agreement to provide additional expertise.  
•    To undertake research, on behalf of the Night Time Commission, into how ten leading international cities are developing their night time economies, and the role that the city government is playing 
•    To contribute to new Supplementary Planning Guidance which will deliver the Mayor’s Manifesto Pledge to introduce the ‘Agent Of Change’ principle in London’s planning framework. This will afford club, pubs and venues additional protection from future noise complaints as a result of nearby residential development.

Given the value of the proposed contract, GLA officers acknowledge that section 3.6 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code (“Code”) requires that at least three quotations be sought for all contracts with a value above £10,000.  However, section 5 of the Code provides that an exemption from that requirement may be approved upon certain specified grounds, including where there has been previous involvement in a specific current project or continuation of existing work which cannot be separated from the new work.  GLA officers are of the view that this ground is applicable in this case.

2)    Creative Enterprise Zone/Workspace – dedicated freelance Visual Arts Project Manager

This role, at an estimated cost of £25,000, will support the Senior Cultural Strategy Officer- Public Realm, (project manager for Fourth Plinth installation/launch in September) to release her to support the manifesto programmes:

•    #LondonIsOpen campaign – art commissions
•    Creative Enterprise Zone planning
•    Establish the ‘Creative Land Trust’
•    Develop the Creative Workspace Protection Programme

This role will oversee the Fourth Plinth Commissioning programme, Schools Award and delivery of a public art app.  The role is time specific for a dedicated period and the nature of the work is suited to a freelance project manager with a wide variety of experience in these areas.

Culture Infrastructure Plan – dedicated officer or secondment

This role will support the Senior Cultural Strategy Officer– Creative Industries to set out the scope, timelines, measures of success of the Culture Infrastructure Plan and:

•    Appoint industry experts to advise
•    Commission research
•    Gap analysis
•    Produce Planning and Culture Guide 
•    Embed this work within the London Plan

The role will be at the bottom of grade 9 post plus associated costs for NI and pension.

London Borough of Culture – dedicated officer or secondment

This role, will support the Senior Cultural Strategy Officer – Outdoor Arts & Legacy to set out the scope, timelines, measures of success for the London Borough of Culture programme and:

•    Research and compile a funding package
•    Develop the Expression Of Interest process
•    Undertake development work with boroughs and the cultural sector to help shape ideas and ambition of the programme
•    Define the selection and judging process 
•    Launch the programme

The role will be the bottom of grade 9 post plus associated costs for NI and pension.

Administrative Assistant
This role will provide assistance across the Culture Team to enable them to deliver the Mayor’s cultural vision.  In particular assistance with event planning, room bookings, filing systems and HR processes.
The role will be the bottom of grade 4 post plus associated costs for NI and pension.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The appointment of 3 new fixed term posts (September 2016 to March 2017)  and 2 freelance consultancy contracts  (Sound Diplomacy ,and Visual Art project manager) to deliver the Mayor’s cultural ambitions.


Equality comments

All the above work areas have equality objectives at the heart of the goal of their programmes.

All programmes have consultation as a key part of the development process with the goal of including hard to reach people and communities.

London's diversity is its biggest asset and we strive to ensure our workforce reflects London's diversity at all levels. We welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability. They vacancies will be advertised on multiple channels including the Mayor of London website.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer and we are happy to consider flexible working arrangements. We would welcome applications from candidates who are seeking part time work as this role is open to job share.  

In addition to a good salary package, we offer an attractive range of benefits including 30 days’ annual leave, interest free season ticket loan, interest free bicycle loan, childcare voucher scheme and a career average pension scheme.

The delivery of the Culture Infrastructure Plan and the Creative Enterprise Zones will include discussions with the Diversity and Social Policy team to ensure the needs of London’s diverse communities are reflected in future plans.  

Other considerations

a)    Reputational risk if the Mayor does not deliver on his election manifesto for culture.  The Culture Delivery Group will meet regularly and include representation across the GLA and GLA family to ensure pledges are on target for delivery. 

b)    The Mayor’s manifesto pledges include: 

•    Developing a Culture Infrastructure Plan for London to provide a strategic overview of current cultural provision, identify trends, gaps, future requirements and set out a roadmap to 2030.  Enabling the city to plan for culture as we plan for housing, transport and health.
•    Identifying and delivering Creative Enterprise Zones across London, districts that incentivise and nurture creative enterprise.
•    Establishing a London Borough of Culture programme.


Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £142,250 on additional interim staffing requirement for the Culture Team for the period September 2016 to March 2017 to deliver the Mayor’s cultural ambitions.

5.2    Request is being sought for expenditure of up to £100,000 from the Minor Core Project budget for 2016/17. 

5.3    The balance of £42,250 will be met from a vacant post senior manager post within Culture Team. Costs summarised below:

Summary of costs to March 2017


Staff Costs:


Two staff at grade 9 and one staff at grade 4 from Sep 2016 to Mar 2017 (mid-point with on-costs)


Two freelance contracts (Night Time Commission £28,000 and Creative Enterprise Zone/Workspace Visual Arts Project Manager £25,000)


Total Cost


Funded by:


Minor Programme budget - requested

-          100,000

Surplus from vacant Senior Manager post in Culture(GLA2446)

-            42,250

Total Funds

-          142,250


5.4 The Culture Strategy Team within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing this project.


Planned delivery approach and next steps



Advertising posts

End of July


August 2016

New staff/consultants in place

September 2016

Contracts end

March 2017


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