DD2105 Good Growth by Design: Mayor’s Design Advocates

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
04 April 2017
Decision by: 
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment

Executive summary

This paper seeks approval for the appointment of a panel of Mayor’s Design Advocates (MDAs), to support the GLA, to deliver the Good Growth by Design Programme (GGbD) and advocate on behalf of the Mayor the emerging concept of ‘good growth’ as introduced in a City for All Londoners.  MDAs will support the Mayor’s ambition to uphold the quality of development across London and will assist the Mayor and his agencies to set an example in this respect. MDAs will support the GLA’s growth board through the examination of key issues that affect the physical form of the capital and will provide independent review and scrutiny of key Mayoral investments at the discretion of GLA group directorates, all to be coordinated by the GLA Regeneration Team – GGbD Principal Project officer. Costs are covered within budgets agreed as part of the GLA budget setting process.



That the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment approves GLA expenditure of up to £90,000 on services required for the operation of the proposed Mayor’s Design Advocates panel over 3 year period until March 2020.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    With London growing to unprecedented levels the challenge is not only to deliver growth on the scale required but to harness the opportunity to create successful, inclusive and sustainable places of high quality.  The Mayor has recently responded to this challenge by setting out a vision for a City for All Londoners based on the principles of ‘good growth’; development that is socially, and economically inclusive and environmentally sustainable. 

1.2    To achieve good growth it’s crucial to develop the correct model for orientating the GLA’s delivery towards these goals. As such a programme of activity referred to as ‘Good Growth by Design’ is being prepared. This includes a move to harness London’s built environment sector’s diverse skills and talents to help define and promote the more qualitative aspects of growth on behalf of all Londoners. This is proposed in the form of a panel of external experts to be referred to as the Mayor’s Design Advocates. This proposal was endorsed at the January 2017 Growth Board.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The Mayor’s ‘Good Growth by Design’ is a strategic programme of activities to define and assist in the delivery of the design related aspects of growth across London and  strategy to communicate this widely – to both a professional and a public audience. 

2.2    The programme will draw together and supplement existing activities across the GLA group, in the boroughs and the built environment sector. GLA staff will be supported in this by a panel of Mayor’s Design Advocates (see appendix 1 for role specification). The scope of the programme is set out below across five key pillars. Mayor’s Design Advocates will be called upon to assist variously across all five pillars with a common responsibility to advocate on behalf of the Mayor and the sector in London as a whole. 

•    Setting Standards: The examination by inquiry of key issues regarding architecture, urban design and place-shaping in order to inform the setting of standards for delivery across London.  
•    Maintaining Standards: Effective design review arrangements across London including the GLA Group. 
•    Building Capacity:  Enhancing London's capacity and skills to co-ordinate, invest in and shape development.
•    Commissioning Quality: Ensuring excellence in the procurement of design services on behalf of the Mayor and public sector more generally.
•    Championing Good Growth. Advocating best practice to support success across the sector.

2.3    The Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills is accountable  for Good Growth by Design (GGbD) programme on behalf of the GLA Growth Board.

2.4    The GLA Regeneration team will coordinate the GGbD programme and be responsible for managing the activity of the Mayor’s Design Advocates (MDAs), liaising with directorates (clients) across the GLA group, (TfL, LLDC and OPDC). A G10 Principal Project officer will manage the GGbD programme and will have the responsibility for managing the MDA panel in close liaison with clients across the GLA. GLA Regeneration along with other GLA clients will manage the services required from the MDA in GGbD Inquiries and in relation to the activity of the MDA Design Review Panel, along with other activities and operational arrangements across the five pillars – closely supervised by the (G10) Principal Project officer. 

2.5    Progress and outcomes regarding the GGbD programme will be reported to the GLA Growth Board by the AD Regeneration for discussion, approval (where necessary) and development.  

2.6    MDA ‘meet ups’ will be scheduled to receive reports and updates from MDAs and GLA staff actively engaged in GGbD scheduled activities and reviews.  There will be an annual MDA forum.

2.7    Up to 30 MDAs will be appointed to the panel, each will individually or in groups be drawn upon to assist GLA Group staff on GGbD activities. 

2.8    The duration of appointment will be for approximately 3 years, with an annual year break clause at the discretion of the GLA. MDA will be drawn down on a task by task basis.

2.9    A request for support is made by GLA ‘clients’ through the GLA’s Regeneration team. For particularly complex assignments, panel appointees will receive an email including a mini-brief for the session(s).

MDAs will complete an online evaluation form up to two times during the commission, providing feedback on the perceived impact of MDA involvement and ways in which to improve its operation. Similarly GLA Clients will report back on the results of MDA activities to ensure a high quality service is maintained. Where service is unsatisfactory a contract can be terminated.

Equality comments

It is recognised by the GLA that London's diversity isn’t always reflected across the built environment sector. As such the GLA will strive to reflect London's diversity via MDA appointments, and will facilitate applications from all sections of the community, particularly, those under-represented in the sector, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability. 

As part of the ‘Building Capacity’ pillar GLA staff will work across the professional institutes and with industry more generally to support existing activities and where necessary develop further activities to promote a more representative built environment workforce.

Other considerations

This proposal has been developed to support the Mayor’s vision in a City for All Londoners based on the principles of ‘good growth’ to deliver development that is socially, and economically inclusive and environmentally sustainable. 

The GGbD programme will uphold the Public Sector equality duty and has an explicit function to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. This will be promoted by taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups, removing barriers and encouraging people from protected groups to participate in the programme and advance in the sector as a whole. A specific example will be the GLA striving to reflect London's diversity in Mayor’s Design Advocates appointments by facilitating applications from all sections of the community, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability.  Once appointed, the programme lead in the regeneration team will ensure that MDAs understand the public sector equality duty and take this into account in their work.
Key risks associated with the programme are the poor take up of or alternatively very high demand for the offer of MDA support by the directorates across the GLA and functional bodies. To mitigate against the risk of demand outstripping available resources the programme will be tightly managed by a dedicated G10 officer post.

The programme will be evaluated on an annual basis, with an annual report being provided to the Mayor via the Growth board. 


Financial comments

5.1    The total cost of this proposal is up to £90,000 over a three year period from 2017-18 to 2019-20, equating to £30,000 per annum. With regards to funding, an annual budget provision of £120,000 has been earmarked for this project within the GLA’s Regeneration Unit (as part of the budget setting process for 2017-18) and it is from within this budget provision that this specific proposal will be funded.


Planned delivery approach and next steps

7.1    A procurement exercise will be initiated following a Mayoral announcement; the process will be proportionate to the MDAs’ activities bearing in mind that each MDA will provide a maximum of 20 days per annum of re-numerated activity in the form of either design review or Design inquiry attendance. This has been made clear in the Invitation to tender It is proposed that the MDAs will also be invited to provide up to 6 days per annum unpaid to attend regular meet ups and to provide a more general advocacy role, although this will be optional.  The total number of days provided (paid and unpaid) will be monitored by the GGbD programme manager in liaison with the GLA client – following the submission of time sheets and invoices from the MDA.

7.2    Currently no framework exists where the resources can be drawn from. TfL Commercial Services (Professional Services) - GLA Collaborative Procurement Team (CPT) will support the GLA Regeneration team with the procurement process and oversee contractual arrangements. The total value of the procurement is less than the relevant OJEU threshold and as a result a below the threshold procurement will be undertaken in accordance with PCR 2015 R(109). The Contract opportunity will be published on Contracts Finder and communicated widely through relevant Journals and networks.  The timescales will be proportionate and suitable assessment criterion will be used to ensure that the GLA receive the most appropriate skilled and qualified resources.  The principal of Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) will be used.  It is envisaged that a Contract is awarded for a period of 3 years, with an option for a one year extension.

7.3    Remuneration will be in the form of a fixed and benchmarked day rate of £400 (£200 half day rate). Advocates can claim reasonable and legitimate expenses in addition. Costs will be covered within proposed budgets approved as part of GLA budget setting process. An equivalent arrangement has been set up by CABE where Built Environment Experts (BEE’s) receive £200 for a half day and £405 for a full day. We have also benchmarked against a number of London Borough design review panels which provide comparable remuneration. 



Commencement of procurement exercise (go live on contracts finder) issue press release press pack / advert / availability of tender documents.

April 5th

Receive tenders by e-mail

10 May

Evaluate tenders

(3 weeks min. required)

Appointment successful tenderers and enter into contracts

End of May

Commencement of services

by mid July.

Final evaluation start and finish

Annual evaluation

Delivery End Date

March 2020



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