First Group – Delivering Political Intelligence with Business Benefits
Date of work:
Following the Greater Manchester Devolution Agreement between the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Government in November 2015, it is envisaged that Greater Manchester will move towards a franchised model of bus service delivery, with all bus operators operating in the City Region invited to tender. First Group, which is one of more than 30 bus operators with services in Greater Manchester, appointed Lexington to provide political intelligence to assist in helping the business build a firm understanding of the local political environment ahead of any potential tendering opportunities.
Lexington first undertook a comprehensive stakeholder mapping exercise in relation to transport across Greater Manchester. This involved identifying key stakeholders, measuring their influence in respect of a formal franchise bid process and intelligence gathering in respect of their views on transport across the City Region and, more specifically, bus franchising.
As the process towards a franchised model of bus service delivery for Greater Manchester continues, there is an increasing chance that it will become the focus of greater press and political attention. With this in mind, Lexington closely monitors developments relating to the GMCA and devolution, with a particular focus on transport. This includes, local and regional media monitoring, the monitoring of relevant GMCA meetings and GMCA committee meetings, as well as any other relevant bodies, to understand the key issues and the political dynamics at play.
By using our political experience, knowledge and networks, Lexington was able to investigate potential key political / administrative / policy / business stakeholders from across the GMCA and the 10 Greater Manchester Local Authorities that will be key to the Greater Manchester bus franchise bidding process. From this we have been able to draw conclusions and give recommendations on how the findings can be fed into a future local bus franchise bid put forward by First Group to increase the chances of success.