To accept the funding of £245,986 from the Gloucestershire Strategic Housing Partnership to CBC to facilitate the funding and installation of new digital Lifeline equipment
Decision Maker: Cabinet Member Customer and Regulatory Services
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To accept the funding of £245,986 from the GCC Strategic Housing Partnership to Cheltenham Borough Council to facilitate the funding and installation of new digital lifeline equipment in readiness for the 2025 Digital Switchover.
To undertake a procurement exercise for the purchase of new digital lifeline equipment to replace the existing 1,058 analogue units and peripheral equipment in readiness for the digital switchover to ensure a robust uninterrupted service for vulnerable lifeline customers.
Reasons for the decision:
Telecoms companies in the UK are replacing the analogue (copper wire) technology traditionally used to provide fixed telephone networks (landlines), with digital technology. The Digital Switchover has already commenced and is due to be completed by 2025.
The digital switchover will impact upon the provision of the Lifeline service as the majority of current lifeline equipment currently installed in subscribers houses has been designed to operate on analogue lines and is not guaranteed to operate on the new digital service. 1,058 Cheltenham Borough Council analogue Lifelines will need replacing with digital equipment.
In recognition of the importance and value of the Lifeline service, the Gloucestershire Strategic Housing partnership recently approved a joint funding bid (made by Cheltenham, Forest of Dean, Cotswold and Stroud councils), to support the purchase and installation of replacement digital equipment..
Funding of £245,986 was agreed for Cheltenham Borough Council to enable a timely roll out from analogue to digital dispersed Community Alarms prior to the switch over from analogue to digital by December 2025
This is estimated to be the full cost of purchasing and replacing the 1,058 analogue devices and peripheral equipment currently deployed.
This funding is ring fenced solely for this purpose and the four councils will undertake a joint procurement exercise to purchase the digital lifeline equipment. The procurement exercise will commence in May 2023.
Alternative options considered:
To not accept the award. This has been discounted as not transitioning from analogue to digital poses a risk for all users of the Lifeline service and could be life threatening for this vulnerable group of users.
Other reasons / organisations consulted
Contact: Judy Hibbert, Head of Customer Services and Business Support.
Publication date: 19/04/2023
Date of decision: 19/04/2023
Effective from: 27/04/2023