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015/2014: Proposal to re-provide a Data Centre. – 15 October 2014

Executive Summary and recommendation

A decision was taken on 29th July 2014 (DN 9/2014 refers) not to progress a proposed new Northern Base in favour of more cost effective accommodation options.  The opportunity to co-locate some accommodation and facilities including IT infrastructure following an in-principle agreement with Cleveland police was identified.

Part of the Northern Base proposal was that a new data centre would be provided. Alternative options have subsequently been progressed. The context is that the organisation has an ambitious strategy in respect of its use of information communication technology to support delivery of operational policing services.

The IT Strategy and a £10m investment plan has been approved this year.  This will introduce a range of new technologies including Mobile Asset Utilisation and Deployment Systems, Mobile Working, and enhanced ANPR.  These are critical to being achieving the Police and Crime Plan goals, being responsive and meeting future demands.  The implementation of these new technologies will be under pinned by modernising our core technical infrastructure.  In order to achieve a re-location from and disposal of the Newby Wiske site Headquarters it will be essential to re-provide the data centre.

This paper seeks approval to the proposal to commit to provide a new NYP data centre that will be co-located with Cleveland Police and constructed as part of their proposed new Community Safety Hub.  The proposal provides information on associated investment and risks as known at present along with key opportunities.

Police and Crime Commissioner decision:  Approved

Signature:  signature

Date:  15 October 2014

Title:  Police and Crime Commissioner


Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

  1. Introduction and background

A decision was taken on 29th July 2014 (DN 9/2014 refers) not to progress a proposed new Northern Base in favour of more cost effective accommodation options.  The opportunity to co-locate some accommodation and facilities including IT infrastructure following an in-principle agreement with Cleveland police was identified.

Part of the Northern Base proposal was that a new data centre would be provided. Alternative options have subsequently been progressed. The context is that the organisation has an ambitious strategy in respect of its use of information communication technology to support delivery of operational policing services.

The IT Strategy and a £10m investment plan has been approved this year.  This will introduce a range of new technologies including Mobile Asset Utilisation and Deployment Systems, Mobile Working, and enhanced ANPR.  These are critical to being achieving the Police and Crime Plan goals, being responsive and meeting future demands.  The implementation of these new technologies will be under pinned by modernising our core technical infrastructure.

Whilst the decision has been taken not to progress a Northern Base, it is still the intention of the organisation to move out of the current Newby Wiske Headquarters facilities.  There is therefore a requirement to re-provide the data centre that is currently located at the Newby Wiske site.  Part of the decision making around closing the Northern Base project was a stated intention to collaborate with Cleveland Police, and consider co-location opportunities at their proposed new Community Safety Hub at Hemlington.

NYP are aware that Cleveland are planning to build a new Data Centre as part of their development.  In recognising the level of investment that is required in re-provisioning a new data centre NYP understands that it makes sense to determine their requirements and make a decision at an early opportunity.  This will ensure it secures Best Value in respect of this provision, which will be an essential requirement once the plans for disposal of the HQ site are progressed.

It is important that opportunities are not lost and that the organisation can move to take advantage of changing circumstances and potentials as they arise.  In order to gain the advantage and long term opportunities that a co-location/shared data centre with Cleveland presents, we have moved to a position where we can work to the set to timescales around planning and development that Cleveland already have in place.

In undertaking this evaluation the organisation wished to understand:

  • The level of investment if there was a decision to co-locate a proposed new Data Centre with Cleveland Police
  • The level of investment if there was a decision to re-provide a NYP Data Centre elsewhere in North Yorkshire, and identified that the most logical place for that re-provision would be at Fulford Road, York
  • Explore the present and future opportunities that the schemes could present
  • The risks associated with the proposal(s)

Fulford Road, York
NYPs Force Control Room is located on the Fulford Road site; this is a key Technical and Estates asset and would provide a logical place for the organisation to consider re-providing a new purpose build Data Centre.  There is land available to support such a development and it is recognised that in developing a new data centre on the Fulford Road site and adjacent to the Force Control Room there would be the potential to realise benefits from the opportunities that this could present.  Potentially any such development could be extended to incorporate other space/accommodation requirements that were deemed necessary to support the delivery of operational policing services and enable the provision of facilities to support/meet the requirements of the organisational demand reduction model.

However, at the present time there are no clear plans for the Fulford Road site as we assess future requirements and options.  Whilst it has been included in the Estates Strategy as a redevelopment opportunity in Phase 3 of the Estates Strategy delivery – Phase 3 covers the period 2018 – 2023.  It would therefore not be prudent to invest money into the Fulford Road site, without having a full understanding of whether the site was to be retained, redeveloped or if the organisation may choose to re-locate in the City of York locality.

In summary, whilst recognising that there may be opportunities arising from a provision adjacent to the Force Control Room at York, this is not recommended.  This is due to the fact that we cannot be confident that this would be a wise investment until such time as we had certainty around the future requirements and use of the site.

Provision of a new Data Centre co-located with Cleveland police
In considering a proposal for a new Data Centre provision co-located with Cleveland Police at their new Community Safety Hub, the organisation will wish to understand the costs, impact, timeline, risks and benefits of such a decision.

Cleveland have obtained planning submission for their new Community Safety Hub, but not their Data Centre.  We understand that they are close to agreeing the sale of their current site.  To this end there is a time imperative for them to ensure they can vacate their current site as per the agreement with their purchaser.

Whilst the design and planning for the main building has been progressed, they have not commenced the design element of the independent Data Centre.  It is the intention to submit planning in November 2014.  The NYP proposals for a Northern Base were progressed  to the point where the organisation has a lot of information/data to inform their requirements.

The fact that Cleveland have not yet commenced the actual design of their Data Centre poses a risk for both organisations, in as much as, a decision to collaborate would need to be made and adhered to, meaning that NYP would have to commit from the outset.  This is due to the fact that Cleveland do not have a design and therefore any ‘change in decision’ by NYP would mean that Cleveland would need to completely re-design their Data Centre building.  In such an event they would not achieve their target date for planning, and be unable to construct their new Data Centre in time to meet the vacation date, (as understood by NYP based on the current proposed disposal) in respect of the sale of their current site.

Cleveland have advised that they require NYP to commit to their scheme now in order that they may proceed.

What does ‘committing’ to a new Data Centre with Cleveland mean?
In order to commit to the new Data Centre NYP leaders will wish to understand the costs and implications.  However, due to the fact that the Data Centre element of the Cleveland scheme is in its infancy, it is not possible to provide the breadth and depth of information that Executive Board would ordinarily require.  Attached at Appendix A is a list of the information requests made by NYP, and the responses provided by Cleveland.

However, as articulated above – due to the fact that Cleveland have not yet progressed a design for their data centre and the design would be for a joint data centre, it is imperative that any decision is made in the knowledge that it would not be possible to change that decision without compromising Cleveland Police (as they would need to redesign a data centre that met their requirements, rather than a larger building that met the requirements of both organisations).

There would be a need to understand future cost sharing arrangements and responsibilities, however, due to the tight timescale this would need to be agreed ‘post decision’ and could potentially introduce a further element of risk if both organisations failed to reach an agreement.

Funding:
When the decision was taken to halt the Northern Base project it was recognised that there would still be a requirement to fund the activity for an alternative Estates provision, and that monies would be identified in the MTFP to fund these plans.  These monies would be the funds that had been originally identified to fund the Northern Base, re-directed to the revised Estates Strategy delivery, but with the expectation that a saving of £10 million would be made overall.

Appendix B provides an estimate of the high level funding required in respect of the provision of a co-located Data Centre on the Cleveland Police’s new Hemlington site.  This is based on the information provided by Cleveland Police.  There is also a high level estimate of an alternative provision based on a provision at Fulford Road (these estimates have been worked up by the NYP team).   This indicates a co-location optioini would be at a lower cost as would be expected. 

Timeline:
Cleveland Police have provided their project plan in respect of their new development.  Appendix C sets out the high level timeline associated with the provision of a new data centre.  NYP recognise that this is an ambitious timeline, but that it is predicated on the end date in respect of the sale of their current site.  Additionally, given the NYP intention to dispose of the current Newby Wiske HQ as part of the Phase 2 Estates Strategy delivery, then this timeline is a ‘good fit’ with the previously identified timeline for the proposed Northern Base.  It would support the organisation in having secured its Data Centre provision prior to moving from the current HQ site, allowing further time for the migration of technical equipment and a period of dual running.

  1. Matters for consideration

Should a decision be taken to collaborate with Cleveland Police and provide a new Data Centre as part of their development, there will be a need to co-locate the teams that support the technical infrastructure.  There would need to be consultation with the individuals impacted by this proposed move in order to ensure that staff continuity and delivery of services was maintained.  At the present time NYP have articulated that their requirement for their team location is to be provided as part of the Data Centre facility.  Cleveland colleagues have suggested that they could occupy space in the fallow floor.  However, the recommendation is that NYP should insist that the provision remains in the data centre in order not to commit to occupation of the Cleveland fallow floor and not to compromise the space on that floor in terms of what teams it may wish to locate should it choose to do so.

A further consideration would be the future service provision ‘out in the wider’ technical estate.

It will be appreciated that there are a number of risks associated with a proposal to co-locate those identified at the point of producing this paper are articulated at Appendix D, accepting that further risks and potential mitigation will be identified as our understanding develops.

It is also acknowledged that co-location would support the overall in-principle agreement to co-locate some accommodation and facilities and develop collaborative options for the provision of (with the exception of neighbourhood policing) some operational policing services.  This in itself would enhance borderless policing along the Cleveland/North Yorkshire border.  This would support the further exploration of opportunities.

  1. Other options considered, if any

At the present time, and due to the time constrains for the decision making in respect of the proposed new Cleveland Data Centre, it has not been possible to consider other options in any depth. As articulated above, it is recognised that there is potentially merit in a provision co-located with the NYP Force Control Room.  However, the Fulford Road site is not currently due for consideration until Phase 3 of the Estates Strategy delivery (5-year period commencing 1st April 2018).  Under the circumstances it would not be prudent to consider development on that site without an understanding of the wider issues surrounding the future of that site.

In considering the proposal to re-locate the current HQ Data Centre as part of the Cleveland Police Community Safety Hub project, NYP would be fully engaged in the progression of the project and would have representation on the appropriate Board(s).

  1. Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

The proposal to co-locate would support the police and crime plan outcomes of ‘more for less’ and the stated approach to partnership and collaborative working, ensuring the best use of public funds whilst support the delivery of operational policing services.

  1. Consultations carried out

As these plans are in the very early stages, no consultation has been carried out.

  1. Financial Implications/Value for money

PCC Chief Finance Officers comments:
The costs of building a new data centre should, in theory, be the same no matter where it is located. However as articulated within the Business Case the opportunity to build a combined data centre with Cleveland presents an opportunity to share certain costs which should enable significant savings to be made by North Yorkshire. It is my expectation that North Yorkshire will pay for the additional costs, over and above those Cleveland would have incurred in building their own data centre, as part of this arrangement, although this needs to be formally agreed. While this lack of a formal agreement provides an element of risk it also means, in theory, that North Yorkshire is not legally committed to this process at this stage. While not the intention, North Yorkshire, could in theory change its mind in relation to this agreement. Those areas of risk outlined within the paper can therefore be reduced and mitigated as both organisations move towards a formalised agreement on cost sharing, both in terms of the initial build and the apportionment of running costs.

The funding required to build a new data centre is currently provided for within the MTFP, although at the time of considering this decision the MTFP does not balance. This decision will therefore not make the MTFP any worse than currently modelled, however it does provide an opportunity to re-provide the Data Centre, at a lower cost than is likely elsewhere, which in turn provides one of the key elements in moving from Newby Wiske and the reduced Estates running costs that should then follow.

  1. Legal Implications

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Acting Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

It should be noted that as the project progresses there will be legal liabilities for NYP such as funding commitments and issues following the planning application.

  1. HR implications

If the decision is made to move the data centre to Cleveland then there may be staff implications for staff involved wholly with the maintenance of these systems. Any potential implications will need to be properly negotiated with UNISON  and the staff members affected.

  1. Equality Implications

There is a requirement to undertake a full Equality Impact Assessment. At the present time it has not been possible to make this determination. A full analysis of the impacts of the proposal will be undertaken as the project progresses. 

Public Access to information
The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval.

Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.


Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – YES       (please delete as appropriate)

If Yes, what is the reason for restriction –   Commercially and operationally sensitive information.


Originating Officer Declaration – Author name:        Joanna Carter – Collar number: 3594 

  Name      (Collar Number) Date of completion (√)
Head of Departmenthas reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities. NB Transition arrangements for HoD during this time
Legal AdviceLegal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge or such risk is outlined in Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Jane Wintermeyer3840 9 October 2014
Financial AdviceThe PCC CFO has been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Michael Porter4317 8 October 2014
Equalities AdviceEither there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice.  Author to complete as Equalities matters are mainstreamed within departments. Joanna Carter3594 8 October 2014
HR AdviceHR advice has been sought in relation to any people related matters  T/ACC Ken McIntosh1414 9 October 2014

 

I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decisionSignature             CEO Joanna Carter                                                                                         Date  13.10.14

 

 

 

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