COUNCILLORS will vote today on whether to move forward with plans to contract out more council services.
Havant Borough Council is looking to save money by outsourcing operational services – including household waste, garden waste collection, street cleaning, engineering and cemeteries.
A decision will also be made next week on which contractor will handle administration, facilities management, licensing and property management, in a partnership with four other local authorities.
Councillor Tony Briggs, the deputy leader, believes it is the only way the authority will make the £1.5m worth of savings needed in the next two years.
But Labour councillor Beryl Francis is not happy.
She said: ‘I’m very anxious about this proposal for operational services.
‘I’m concerned that so many of the council’s statutory services could be provided by other organisations.
‘At present the council has a good relationship with our workforce and we’re able to look into any problems people in our wards have with the services we provide.
‘It would be a pity if the link was lost. If we outsource all these services, what is the council actually for?’
Public toilet cleaning, open space maintenance, allotments and beach huts also come under the scope of the latest potential deal.
Councillor Briggs said the cabinet, which meets today, is looking at several ideas, including keeping the status quo but his preferred option would be to set up a joint venture company (JVC) with another authority.
Cllr Briggs said it would mean they would be able to retain overall control, keep employees on the same contracts, and even make a profit – which they are not allowed to do currently.
He added: ‘I’m looking to make savings, preserve and enhance the quality of service to our customers and also, where possible, look after our staff at the depot.
‘It’s a tall order to do all three together and I believe a JVC is probably the best way we can achieve that.’
The recommendation at today’s cabinet meeting at Havant’s Public Service Plaza is for officers to look further into all the options.