Deal to outsource services at Havant in joint councils bid will ‘save council millions’

Havant Councillor Mike Fairhurst
Havant Councillor Mike Fairhurst

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THE deal between five local authorities to outsource services to two companies could save up to £11.5m locally, according to Havant Borough Council.

The authority is joining with Hart District Council, Mendip District Council, in Somerset, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Councils in Oxfordshire, to award HR, IT, finance, facilities management and property services to Capita and Vinci.

There are fears it could lead to job losses when the companies create centres of excellence where services are dealt with.

And opposition councillors said they were not given enough information about the plans.

But Councillor Mike Fairhurst, in charge of marketing and development at Havant, said: ‘During the competitive negotiation process, standard procurement procedures were adhered to whereby details of the contract are not shared.

‘We are working hard to make the necessary decisions to save money through commissioning, joint ventures and partnership working.

‘By coming together to procure two large contracts with Capita and Vinci, we were able to make much larger savings.

‘For Havant Borough Council, this results in £11.5m savings, over an eight-year period, which will assist us in tackling the reduction in government funding, whilst remaining affordable for customers and sustainable for the council.’

The deal will be signed on March 31. Cllr Fairhurst added: ‘It’s after this point that we will be able to consult staff on the plans and the options for them. 

‘Havant Borough Council’s go live date will not be until October 2017, therefore changes between now and then in terms of staffing may alter, however as things stand around 59 staff could TUPE-transfer to Capita or Vinci next year. 

‘It is likely that some staff would remain local but for those where it might mean a change of location, if that is not within reasonable commuting distance then they would be entitled to redundancy.’