Ignite remove claims re SSDC
Claims about the transformation of South Somerset District Council (SSDC) have been withdrawn. This follows a complaint investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority. Ignite had used their work on the SSDC transformation project as an example of their successful work. It was used as a case study on their website.
After being contacted by the ASA, Ignite agreed to remove SSDC as a case study from their site. The ASA found that the claims made by Ignite about the transformation of South Somerset could not be substantiated.
Similar claims about the success of the project have been made by Bloom, the procurement agency involved in the SSDC transformation. The ASA explain they “have come to the conclusion that it was likely to have broken the Advertising Rules (“the Codes”) that we administer. ” To date Bloom have refused to remove their claims and case study reference. However the ASA further comment “We have explained the concerns to Bloom Procurement Services Ltd and provided guidance to them on the areas that require attention, together with advice on how to ensure that their advertising complies with the Codes.”
This is a curiosity. SSDC continue to assert their cost base is lower. The ASA clearly have a problem with similar claims being made in case studies promoted by Ignite and Bloom featuring their work at SSDC.
The final arbiter will not be the ASA. It will be the accounts of SSDC. When we finally see the accounts for the year to March 2020, either the cost base of the authority will be £2.5m lower or it won’t. the jury is out.
Any idea just when we might see the accounts?
None – but in fairness to all councils, COVID 19 has had a serious impact on the accounts preparation process to say nothing of the external audit. I suspect we will have to wait a few weeks yet.