Glasgow warehouses’ leases to store NHS equipment have been extended for another five years at a higher rent.
A five-year deal worth nearly £700,000 is expected to be agreed, but councillors want staff to investigate the possibility of building a new facility to house disability equipment used by the city’s health and social care partnership.
Glasgow councillors have branded the decision to rent warehouse units for 20 years to store NHS equipment “odd,” but a new five-year deal worth nearly £700,000 is expected to be agreed.
Since 2002, an Equipu store has been located at Baillieston Distribution Centre, which holds items for disabled people on behalf of the city’s health and social care partnership.
Members of Glasgow City Council’s contract and property committee have questioned why the council has not built its own storage facility to avoid paying a private firm, Jersey-based Rockspring UK Value 2 Caisson Ltd, an annual fee.
Due to “time constraints” and “limited” or “more expensive” alternatives as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, they agreed to renew the lease for another five years.
Officers are looking into building a new store after conducting a review of council depots.
“I understand the time constraints have left us with little choice but to continue this contract, but we have a contract we first entered into in 2002 for a facility that I would assume we knew we would need indefinitely,” said SNP councillor Ruairi Kelly.
“Back in the golden era of local government, there was a lot of capital money going around the council in 2002.”
“It strikes me as odd that we signed a contract for indefinite equipment storage when we could have built a purpose-built facility for less money than we’re paying in rent.”
He also mentioned that some of the warehouse’s extra space could have been rented out to help pay for the initial investment.
“It appears that in the past, there was insufficient foresight or planning across departments.”
The rent will increase by more than £38,000 per year under the new agreement, with the council paying £138,780 annually.
Equipu is in charge of providing, delivering, and installing a variety of disability equipment to disabled people living at home, which is provided by health and social work services. The units are used to clean, repair, and maintain the equipment.
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