A formal request to review how City of York Council managed the end of the Salvation Army’s contract has been submitted.
The chair of the council’s housing scrutiny committee Labour’s Cllr Danny Myers has written to the chair of the audit and governance committee Liberal Democrat Cllr Andrew Hollyer about his “concerns”.
City of York Council decided not to extend the Salvation Army’s £95,000-a-year contract to deliver rough sleeping services in York when it expired on 30 September.
Instead, the council brought the services in-house to achieve its goal of eradicating rough sleeping by the next council elections in 2027.
“The health, housing and adult social care scrutiny committee members agreed that we have concerns with the way the Salvation Army’s early intervention and prevention contract was handled,” Cllr Myers wrote.
“At our meeting, we heard from both Salvation Army and the council that the contract and communication has been poorly handled since March, with a lack of communication between stakeholders about the contract and likely extensions, renewals or expiration.”
We reported in November that a one-month contract extension was sent to the Salvation Army two minutes before 5pm on the day of its expiry.
“The Salvation Army said at our meeting that there was no way they could get it signed,” Cllr Myers letter continued.
“Our committee would formally request, due to our concerns, that you review how this contract has been handled, since March.”
Cllr Hollyer has asked for the formal request to review the handling of the contract to be put on a work plan and is waiting for a response from the council’s monitoring officer on the best way to take forward and the options that might be available.
Salvation Army manager Tony Thornton previously told the housing scrutiny committee that a senior member of his team found out about the contract not being renewed via local media.
“We were a little bit disappointed as an organisation around the communication regarding the contract,” Mr Thornton said.
“It wasn’t helpful that my service manager got to know via the press that the contract was ending.”
Neil Ferris, corporate director of economy and place at the City of York Council, said: “Both parties recognised that the conclusion of this contract was not communicated well.”
He added: “The two organisations had a contract.
“It was known to both parties when that contract ended.
“When we signed up to that contract, everybody knew that that contract ended on 30 September.”