Latest News

September 2020

New Approaches to Procurement of Children’s Services - On-line Webinar and Wider Support

We are delighted to offer a highly topical interactive on-line event on 21 October in partnership with NAPF. This will identify better value for money, more child focussed approaches to commissioning for hard-pressed local authorities. The event will challenge existing approaches to commissioning and procurement of fostering services for children. Offering you an opportunity to ask questions and make comments, we will also cover the impact of COVID-19 on new and existing contractual relationships. Click here for tickets and more details.

We have been providing support to academy schools, provider trade associations, local authorities others on commissioning and procurement of children’s services and more widely especially SEND where we have been at the forefront of advising on whether the public contracts regulations are applicable to SEND provision in view of the DfE guidance. Support and training can be offered at authority or regional level for lawyers, commissioners, accountants, policy officers. To discuss, please contact Léonie.

Leisure Contracts - COVID-19 and More Extensive Support for Local Authorities

Supporting several authorities in settling COVID-19 financial claims caused by leisure centre closure and the commercial impact of socially distanced re-opening. This includes providing guidance on the meaning of individual contractual arrangements, modifications and the impact of recent PPN guidance and on the wider impact of the pandemic e.g. on current re-procurement options, recognising that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

COVID-19 and Leisure Centres: The Impact on Local Authorities and Their Partners for MBL

A very successful one hour live Webinar at the beginning of September which considered the contractual and wider issues when indoor leisure services are externalised, modifications, supplier relief, the PPNs and disputes, the longer term impact of the pandemic on service delivery, relationships with leisure trusts, State Aid, re-procurement and more.

This training can be offered in-house to your lawyers, commissioners, accountants and others where we could look more specifically at your organisation’s challenges. Please contact Léonie to discuss.

Procurement Within Children’s Services - Repeat Learn Live Webinar in March 2021 for MBL

After a very successful one hour live Webinar, Procurement Within Children’s Services in September, join Léonie at MBL for a repeat on 21 March 2021. This will include the statutory background to children’s services, current approaches to procurement of services, the ‘light touch’ purchasing flexibilities, COVID PPNs and more.

Training on Public Procurement and State Aid for MBL

Léonie has delivered a range of very successful training on public procurement and State Aid for MBL over many years. See below for a range of upcoming on-line and face-to-face masterclasses and courses:

Public Procurement and the Public Contracts Regulations Masterclass - Brexit and The Fresh Challenges, Learn Live 1 December 2020, a three hour interactive Webinar.

Public Procurement and State Aid Post Brexit, What Next?, on 2 December, this one hour refresher is a recorded Webinar. It will capture the latest news on the future of public procurement and State Aid after 31 January 2021.

Public Procurement and the Public Contracts Regulations Masterclass - Brexit and The Fresh Challenges, 20 January 2021, Central London (in person, depending on the pandemic), a four hour version of the learn live Masterclass on 1st December which also includes an outline consideration of State Aid.

News 2019

Children and social care

February  - May 2019
West London Alliance (a regional consortium of seven West London authorities): supporting an accreditation process for providers of social care support for post 16 year old young people.  As there are no statutory registration requirements, young people leaving care are at risk of receiving unsatisfactory care support.  With my help, WLA,  have developed an accreditation process to obtain a list of high quality accredited providers. 

West London Alliance
A redraft of the spot purchase agreement for emergency residential/foster care of children/young people. WLA now have a precedent for below public procurement thresholds particularly for agreements with providers who are not part of WLA’s existing frameworks.

February 2018 - February 2019
Welsh Local Government Association/National Commissioning Board: drafted a practical legal guide to modern, outcome based collaborative procurement for social care commissioners and procurement officers.  This is part of the suite of training and other projects commissioned by WLGA from us.  The guide is on the WLGA website and available here.

May 2018 - January 2019
Domiciliary care procurement: supporting two Welsh local authorities in delivering a modern flexible procurement approach and documents delivering an improved model for domiciliary care to older people.  At a time of financial stringency, there is a focus on outcomes in Welsh legislation (the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and Regulation and Inspection of Social Care Act (Wales) 2016 and Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015).

May - November 2018
Outline business case for procurement of services for children with complex needs: for a consortium of authorities who wanted to achieve modern outcome focussed legal documents


January 2019 to present
North Wales: an appraisal of alternative delivery models for a harbour, marina and associated land, recommending a model which will drive economic development and greater leisure use of the Council’s flagship marina and harbour (with Strategic Leisure).

October 2017 - to present
Gwynedd Council leisure centre transfer to a Council owned company: we are delighted to have supported the transfer to Byw’n Iach, the first project of its kind in North Wales. Click here to see. Bwy’n Iach enshrines the 7 well-being goals set out in the Future Generations Act in its vision and documents and is developing better facilities, new activities and offers, all whilst achieving substantial tax-based savings.

November 2018 - present
Isle of Anglesey Alternative Delivery models: appraising the legal and procurement implications of a wide range of ADM models to achieve a secure future including investment for the Council’s leisure centres (with Strategic Leisure).


2018 - present
Inspire Hounslow: a comprehensive draft and review of the charity’s suite of strategic and governance documents so it will be a ‘best in class’ grant giving charity. Inspire Hounslow is a Hounslow based charity which grant aids organisations assisting disadvantaged young people in Hounslow (see

February 2018

An alternative commissioning model for residential care, which is cheaper and better - see Article in the Municipal Journal 1st February 2018

Léonie Cowen and Andrew Rome set out one way of achieving more effective and efficient commissioning for children's residential care.

This highlights that:-

  • The current model of purchase fails children, local authorities and providers on every level. It does not even enable local authorities to contain the cost of placements.

  • Demand for residential places and their cost is increasing and there is a particular lack of appropriate places for specialist provision.

  • More effective commissioning and procurement by using an alternative model to the current (primarily) spot model (even where there is a framework or flexible purchasing system in place) should provide authorities and providers with a more cost effective, stable approach to purchasing care. This benefits, children, local authorities and providers.

  • Modern, flexible commissioning and procurement can provide a win-win-win approach supporting less adversarial, more stable relationships and better value for money.

  • The article shows how these models work.

For the full article see the M J (Municipal Journal) for 1st February at page 20.

Léonie or Andrew can be contacted for details on how we can assist you to implement more effective commissioning and procurement of social care.

November 2017

ADSS Cymru Autumn 2017 Seminar: November 2017, Léonie was a platform speaker, talking on the Steps Required for Improving Outcomes for Individuals and Carers in need of Care and Support and she led a workshop on Innovative Governance Models for Commissioning or Delivery, the Controlled Company Model. 

National Commissioning Board for Wales: November 2017, Léonie led a very successful two day Workshop on the A - Z of Delivering a Commissioning and Procurement Process for Social Care (Focussing on Home Care and Supporting People). This followed the equally successful one day Workshop on the New Procurement Regime and its Implications for Social Care Commissioning and Procurement in March 2017.

October 2017

Gwynedd Council: October 2017, we were appointed to assist the Council in delivering a controlled (Teckal) company for its leisure centres, a first such model for leisure services in Wales. We provided the legal input into the report which recommended this option.

July 2017

Léonie jointly delivered the final Keynote Session with iMPOWER on the future of commissioning children’s services and also delivered a workshop on anti-competitive practices, confidentiality and an update of legal issues at the National Commissioning and Contracting Training Conference for Children’s Services.

Please also see our Social Care and Social Enterprise and Training Track Records

March 2017

Pan-Wales training and support on the Public Procurement Regime for Social Care Commissioning and Procurement for the WLGA/National Commissioning Board.

Please also see our Social Care and Social Enterprise and Training Track Records

December 2016

We completed a full contract refresh together with an extension the contract period and new leases for Rushcliffe Borough Council as part of the Council’s ambitious £15 million Council Civic complex redevelopment with enhanced sports provision.

Please also see our Culture and Leisure Procurement Track Record

July 2015

Completed an open market procurement of the Council’s leisure centres for Powys County Council in conjunction with V4 which delivered significant capital investment of about £2.5 million and a 32% greater reduction in funding over 15 years than the original target.

Please also see our Culture and Leisure Procurement Track Record

October 2014

The Public Procurement Regulations 2015 will be a threat to Part B services, social enterprises and mutuals, please see our brief explanation of the new rules.

Contact details

Léonie Cowen & Associates
30 Kingswood Avenue
Queens Park, London NW6 6LR

t: 020 7604 5870