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Council Defends Xmas Parade Contract

Swansea's 2018 Christmas Parade

Total cost of city centre parade came to £68,423.

Swansea Council has said the appointment of the company which delivered the 2018 Christmas parade was in line with its formal procedures.

A spokesman said this “single supplier arrangement” had been used previously with the festive event.

The total cost of the city centre parade, which featured just three floats and led to many complaints from the public, came to £68,423.

But it has faced widespread criticism for having just three floats and failing to excite the tens of thousands who came to the city centre to watch it.
Even the leader of Swansea Council, Rob Stewart, claimed it ‘fell short’ of expectations.

Asked about the tender process, a council spokesman said: “This was done in line with the council’s formal procedures.

“Eureka Wales were appointed because they evidenced that they were experienced event producers who were able to work with us through uncertainty and change in the city centre.

“They were also committed to working with groups and individuals who never normally have the opportunity to participate in such events, including working with homeless people to create a ‘Choir of Opportunity’.

“Rising Stars Theatre Company also had a starring role, as did the Tenovus Choir — consisting of cancer survivors. Another significant factor was the parade and performances were signed and inclusive.

“We are currently reviewing the procurement process to learn any lessons from this year.”

The council agreed a £30,000 fee with the company prior to the contract being awarded.

“This included all costs for all creative content and the payments contributions to all individuals involved,” said the council spokesman.

“Eureka Wales used this money to directly pay the choreographers, choir leaders, artists and performers during the weeks of rehearsals, elf schools and performances on the night.”

Council chiefs are bringing the parade in-house next year and have terminated their agreement with the company.

No funding was given for marketing and promotion costs, as these activities were managed by the council.

The authority has taken plenty of plaudits for big events it has run, including the Biggest Weekend at Singleton Park earlier this summer, and the annual Wales Airshow.

Council leader Rob Stewart has apologised this week to dejected parade-goers and pledged an event that everyone could be proud of in 2019.

Opposition leader, Councillor Chris Holley, said he would like to know more about the procurement process and the track record of the chosen company in delivering Christmas parades.

“With that type of tender, I’d look at who’s done it before, and then get a couple of quotes,” he said.
 

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