REQUEST FOR MAYORAL DECISION – MD474
Title: New Year’s Eve
Approval and confirmation is now sought for the staging of London’s New Year’s Eve celebrations on
31st December 2009 to include a fireworks display at the London Eye and related activities. The
event, which has been staged by the Authority since 2003, attracts an estimated 500,000 people into
Central London to attend the event (68% of whom are visitors from the rest of the UK and Europe) in
addition to significant worldwide media coverage.
A budget allocation of £1,625,000 from the 2009/10 Events for London programme budget is
required to cover the cost of producing of the event. This incorporates event production,
management and creative costs of £1.570m via contract with Jack Morton Worldwide and a further
£50k for event communications such as print, distribution and website development and event
evaluation (if budget allows) by the GLA.
This represents a £75k budget reduction compared to the cost of staging the 2008 event. Savings
have been found by seeking further cost efficiencies in the production budget, which have included a
reduction in the length of the fireworks display from ten to eight minutes, and by removing the Shell
Building projection effects. In the event of event sponsorship being secured the projection effect,
which in previous years has incorporated a 60-second countdown may be re-instated.
1. To authorise and provide a total event budget of £1,625,000
2. To authorise expenditure of £1,400,000 received as part of the LDA grant relating to the
2009/10 GLA/LDA programme of events (the “Events Grant”).
3. To authorise expenditure of £225,000 from the 2009/10 GLA programme budget and the
allocation made for Events for London.
4. To authorise £50,000 for event communications such as print, distribution and website
development and event evaluation (if budget allows).
5. To approve exercise of an option in the contract with Jack Morton Worldwide for 2009 New
Year’s Eve event.
6. To approve the signing of a broadcast agreement with the BBC to permit exclusive live broadcast
rights to the 2009 event and to enter in to a partnership with BBC Radio 1, in order to provide a
live soundtrack to the event.
7. To note that the GLA’s Sponsorship Team’s (in liaison with the Events for London) will continue
to investigate the feasibility of securing sponsorship income for the event. If sponsorship is
secured to delegate to the Marketing Director authority to approve entry into and sign such
sponsorship agreements without the need for a further MD.
Mayor of London
The above request has my approval.
PART I - NON-CONFIDENTIAL FACTS AND ADVICE TO THE MAYOR
Decision required – supporting report
1. Introduction and background
In MA 3206 approval was granted via an OJEU tender exercise in accordance with the Public
Contracts Regulations 2006 and the GLA Contracts Code of Practice to appoint event
production company Jack Morton Worldwide to design, manage and deliver New Year’s Eve
2008 with option (exercisable at the discretion of the GLA) to commission their further services
in respect of New Year’s Eve 2009, 2010 and 2011. This is therefore year two of this four-year
Following on from a successful event on December 31st 2008, the 2009 event will be similar to
last year, featuring a pre-show music soundtrack provided in partnership with BBC Radio One
and lighting effects around the London Eye, followed by a specially created audio midnight
countdown and a 8-minute firework display at midnight which will once again be broadcast live
on BBC1 in a 25-30-minute live show anchored from Victoria Embankment. In approving the
signing of a broadcast / partnership agreement with the BBC due to the significant cost of an
outside broadcast of this magnitude and the provision of talent, soundtrack and midnight
countdown audio from Radio One, this is a contra arrangement, with no cash value.
Due to the popularity of the event, a significant proportion of the event budget (c£650k) is spent
on crowd management measures to ensure that access to viewing areas is controlled to ensure
that safe capacity is not exceeded. The crowd management plan also uses resources from
statutory agencies such as the Metropolitan Police, TfL, and the City of Westminster and
London Borough of Lambeth to ensure a coordinated response to both operational event
management and in the event of a major incident.
Given that a significant proportion of the audience are from outside of London, a further £50k is
being sought to ensure that the GLA can develop an effective communications campaign to
maximise the tourism benefits of staging the event, both pre-event (via an event website) and for
those attending the event (via 100,000 event viewing area maps distributed around the event
Given the limited budget, detailed event evaluation will not be possible, however from previous
media evaluation undertaken between 2004-2007 and a visitor survey undertaken in 2007 the
event continues to deliver against key objectives in respect of the development of London’s
visitor economy and the international promotion of London, via the worldwide media coverage
that the event attracts.
2. Issues for consideration
a) Links to strategies and Corporate Plan
In approving the staging of London’s New Year’s Eve event 2009, this project directly links to:
i.Developing world-class events in line with the Mayor’s Cultural Metropolis draft cultural policy
to assist in the development of a stimulating, creative and cultural London.
ii.Developing events that promote and maximize the cultural benefits to Londoners from hosting
the 2012 Games and other such major events
iii.Promoting sustained economic growth and competitiveness of London as a World City through
tourism, economic development and positive media coverage.
b) Impact assessments and Consultation
An event of the scale of New Year’s Eve inevitably brings high costs to ensure its delivery, as
well as logistical challenges. That said, the event also offers real economic benefit in terms of
the increased tourism and profile of London as a result of the event.
During audience research undertaken during the 2007 event, an estimated 15% of visitors to the
event were from within the Greater London area, with 47% of the remaining audience from the
rest of the UK and a further 14% from mainland Europe. This indicates the significant benefit to
the event to London’s visitor economy. However, New Year’s Eve is a celebration marked by
the overwhelming majority of Londoners. The event will be accessible to all through national
media coverage live on BBC TV, which nationally (excluding Scotland) attracted some 10.7m
live audience plus a further 800,000 watching online post-event2.
Although research undertaken indicated that 83% of the audience were white, no data exists
currently to indicate the ethnicity of those attending the event from with Greater London.
Research also indicates that the event attracts a wide spread of ages attending the event.
Visit London’s evaluation of the events media coverage3 commissioned for the 2007 event
showed that UK coverage increased in terms of volume and ‘opportunities to see’ by 28%.
Whilst overseas ‘opportunities to see’ also increased particularly in Italy, Japan, Russia, Brazil
and USA. 97% of which had a positive tone to it and many placing London as one of the top
three displays to see worldwide.
Prior to the 2008 event, the first staged under the new administration, there was been wide-
ranging discussion with appropriate Boroughs, police and emergency services, and transport
providers about the appropriate means to mark New Year in London. Following events staged
between 2003-2007, the key agencies involved in delivering this event (Metropolitan Police,
London Ambulance Service, Fire Authority, Port of London Authority, the Boroughs of
Lambeth and Westminster, Transport for London, British Transport Police, Royal Parks,
London Eye, and Visit London) continue to support the staging of the event as a manageable
and effective means to mark New Year’s Eve in the capital.
Consultation will also be carried out with all residents and businesses affected by the event and
the outcome of all such consultation will be factored into the delivery of the event, as considered
appropriate. Visit London will also carry out appropriate consultation with its members to assess
the benefits of the proposals to tourism and visitor services in London.
The Event Organiser is required to indemnify the GLA against all claims, demands, actions,
proceedings and all damages, losses, costs and expenses, and to provide appropriate and
adequate insurance policies. They are also required to ensure that all elements of the event is
planned and implemented in accordance with best practice set out in the Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) Event Safety Guide (the ’Purple Guide’) and other such guidance appropriate to
the event being staged, and to provide an event specific detailed risk assessment of all Health and
Safety issues associated with the staging of the event.
2 Source: BARB / BBC
3 Source: TNS Media evaluation study commissioned by Visit London, December 2007
The event is also planned within a multi agency events planning framework which includes
representation from a key agencies involved in delivering this event, including, but not limited
to, the Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, London Ambulance Service, Fire Authority,
Port of London Authority, the Boroughs of Lambeth and Westminster, Transport for London,
British Transport Police, Royal Parks and the London Eye.
A GLA Risk Register has also been completed for this event, with high, medium and low risks
identified and control measures put in place. With controls, there are no areas identified as
remaining a RED priority.
i.To authorise and provide an event budget of £1,625,000
ii.To authorise expenditure of £1,400,000 received as part of the LDA grant relating to the
2009/10 GLA/LDA programme of events (the “Events Grant”).
iii.To authorise expenditure of £225,000 from the 2009/10 GLA programme budget and the
allocation made for Events for London.
iv.To authorise £50,000 for event communications such as print, distribution and website
development and event evaluation (if budget allows).
v.To approve exercise of an option in the contract with Jack Morton Worldwide for 2009 New
Year’s Eve event.
vi.To approve the signing of a broadcast agreement with the BBC to permit exclusive live
broadcast rights to the 2009 event and to enter in to a partnership with BBC Radio 1, in order to
provide a live soundtrack to the event.
vii.To note that the GLA’s Sponsorship Team’s (in liaison with the Events for London) will
continue to investigate the feasibility of securing sponsorship income for the event. If
sponsorship is secured to delegate to the Marketing Director authority to approve entry into and
sign such sponsorship agreements without the need for a further MD.
4. Financial Comments
4.1 A detailed budget breakdown is given below for this event.
Project management (including development of crowd management plan) 173,900
Sound system 124,433
Show lighting 91,515
Crowd control / stewarding 449,297
Trafalgar Square / Parliament Square and directional LED screens 49,930
Miscellaneous show production 152,456
Permissions and fees 43,012
Accommodation, travel and subsistence (non GLA) 27,875
Insurance (excluding cancellation insurance) 35,500
Event organiser fees 77,456
Sub Total (Jack Morton Worldwide) 1,569,958
Consumer event marketing (including website, viewing area maps and 21,000
Event Media Centre 3,000
Resident communications 8,000
Event photography 2,000
Traffic order advertisement 15,000
Project management (miscellaneous) 6,042
Sub Total (Events for London) 55,042
Project Total 1,625,000
GLA Contribution (225,000)
NB: Note that there is no contingency provision within this budget
4.2 The GLA contribution of £225,000 will be met from the 2009/10 GLA programme budget and
the allocation made for Events for London. The Events For London programme budget and LDA
income to be received was allocated to projects under MD358.
4.3 The New Years Eve event for 2009 will require procurement of goods and services.
should be noted that paragraph 8.27 of the contracts code of practice requires the following: ‘For
contracts with an estimated value of £25,000 and above, where you are not using a select list or
framework agreement, you should also request the supplier’s most recent set of accounts’. Therefore,
if any contracts are procured with a value of £25,000 or more for this programme of work, and if
procured via a framework agreement or select list will require a financial evaluation.
Consequently, the Events for London Team will have to ensure that Financial Statements are
requested and submitted to financial services for financial evaluation prior to any award of
4.3 Any change in budget for this project will be subject to further appropriate approval including
any additional sponsorship that may be secured.
4.4 The Events For London team within the External Affairs directorate are responsible for
managing this project and ensuring that all Expenditure complies with the GLA contracts code of
practice and expenses and benefits framework.
5. Legal Comments
5.1 Legal Powers
The decisions requested of the Mayor fall within the statutory powers under the Greater London
Authority Act 1999 (the ‘Act’). Section 378 of the Act gives the Authority a duty to promote
tourism to Greater London and this New Year’s Eve event can fairly be described as an event that
will promote tourism to London.
Also section 30 of the Act allows the Mayor, acting on behalf of the Authority, and after
appropriate consultation, to do anything which the Mayor considers will further the promotion of
the economic and social development of Greater London and the improvement of the environment
within Greater London. Paragraph 1 above indicates that the relevant purpose in this case is the
promotion of economic development in Greater London.
Section 30(5) of the Act provides that the Authority should exercise its section 30 powers in the
way which it considers best calculated to promote the improvement of health of persons in greater
London and to contribute towards the achievement of sustainable development in the United
Kingdom, except to the extent the Authority considers not reasonably practicable.
Section 32 of the Act provides that the power under section 30 is exercisable only after
consultation with such bodies or persons as the Authority considers appropriate in the particular
case. Paragraph 2(b) above notes the consultation that has taken place in this case and the results
of the consultation.
Section 33 of the Act requires the Authority, when exercising a section 30 power, to make
appropriate arrangements with a view to securing that there is due regard to the principle that
there should be equality of opportunity for all people.
5.2 Extending the contract with Jack Morton Worldwide and other procurement
Jack Morton Worldwide was awarded the contract to design, manage and deliver the New Year’s
Eve 2008 event with an option to extend for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 events. The contract was
procured in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 and the GLA’s Contracts
Code (see MA 3206).
As the date for exercising the option for the 2009 event in the contract expired this option for this
event would best be exercised by a Deed of Variation to the contract rather than notice under
clause 3.1 of the contract. This exercise of the option will be subject to acceptance by Jack Morton
Should the requirement to procure further event related goods and services arise then officers will
need to contact Transport for London Group Procurement. This may well relate to
communications services as an example (see decision 4).
5.3 Receipt of funding from the LDA
Funding has been approved under MD358 and the legal implications therein cover the Events
5.4 Sponsorship and delegation of authority
Where sponsorship can be obtained, then officers should liaise with the Commercial and Public
Law team to ensure appropriate agreements are put in place and that the GLA has authority to
enter the agreement. Section 378 of the Act (the tourism power) allows the Authority to do
anything that is incidental or conducive to the promotion of tourism including the raising of
income for use or in connection with the carrying out of its functions in this regard.
Sections 38(1) and 38(2) when read together provide the Mayor with authority to delegate the
decision to enter sponsorship agreements to the Marketing Director should this be approved.
6. Background/supporting papers
Public access to information
Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other
legislation. Part 1 of this form will be made available on the Greater London Authority website within
1 working day of approval. Any facts and advice that should not be made automatically available on
request should not be included in Part 1 but instead on the separate Part 2 form. Deferment is only
applicable where release before that date would compromise the implementation of the decision being
Is the publication of this approval to be deferred? YES/NO
If yes, for what reason:
Pending the Mayor’s formal announcement of the event in early November 2009. Announcement date
to coincide with the launch of the event website.
Until what date: week commencing 9th November 2009
Is there a part 2 form - YES/NO
ORIGINATING OFFICER APPROVAL:
Tick to indicate
Dan Ritterband has reviewed the request and is satisfied it is correct and consistent
with the Mayor’s plans and priorities.
Dan Ritterband has been consulted about the proposal and agrees the
Head of Law:
Corin McCarthy has commented on this proposal on behalf of the Head of Law.
Executive Director, Resources
I have been consulted about the proposal and confirm that Financial and Legal advice have been taken
into account in the preparation of this report.
Chief of Staff
I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted to the Mayor