Landmark deal sees Havant council go into business

The Public Service Plaza, Havant Borough Council's offices
The Public Service Plaza, Havant Borough Council's offices
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  • Authority hopes setting up jointly-run company will bring into extra revenue
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A LANDMARK deal will see a council go into business.

Councillors from Conservative-led Havant Borough Council unanimously agreed to form a Joint Venture Company with Norse Commercial Services – the first of its kind in the south.

It will mean refuse, street cleaning and allotment services to residents across Havant, Waterlooville, Emsworth, Leigh Park and Hayling Island will be run by the JVC.

Previously they were provided by an in-house council operation.

And, for the first time, the part publicly-run company will be able to offer work commercially, such as trade waste.

Council officials say it could double the turnover of the operational service department within five years and the profits could be used to help balance the authority’s budget and keep council tax down.

Because of cuts to the government grant, the authority must save £1.4m by 2018/2019

Deputy leader Councillor Tony Briggs said: ‘The forming of this Joint Venture Company will mean that Havant Borough Council’s operational services will become Norse South East.

‘To our residents it will be simply a new name, with the same service.

‘However it will allow us to generate additional income to support the future work of the council.’

The JVC will be set up on a 10-year contract in the first instance, starting in April.

During this time all profits generated will be shared equally between the council and the business partner.

All council staff from operational services will transfer over to Norse South East.

Opposition parties are in support of the changes.

John Perry, a Ukip councillor for Hayling Island, said: ‘I believe the JVC is good for everybody – good for the employees and good for Havant Borough Council and actually good for the residents.

‘It’s a joint venture – it’s not an outsourcing deal.

‘The JVC is doing something Norse has done many times before and made a success of it.’

Southmoor Depot, in Southmoor Lane, Broadmarsh, will continue to be the base for the majority of services.