Council handover plans back on the cards

The Guildhall, in Worcester

The Guildhall, in Worcester

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

PLANS to potentially hive off scores of Worcester City Council services to outside providers are set to be revisited, it has emerged.

Your Worcester News can reveal how the city's new Conservative leadership is looking to dust off a controversial project to offer services to the likes of the private sector.

An old blueprint was launched back in 2012 based on reviewing all service areas to see if any can be provided by other organisations, but no progress was made on it after the party lost power.

Now the project is back on the table as the council battles to try and save around £4.1 million by 2019.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, who drafted the original plan and is now back as city leader, says he intends to push for radical change.

His old dossier included rubbish collections, leisure centres and museum services as three potential services which could be handed over.

He said: "That's certainly something we'll be looking at and I expect it to feature in our plans as we go forward.

"Certainly something I believe in is providing the best quality services at the best possible price - we will be far less precious (than Labour were) about providing services in-house."

He said he was "agnostic" about who provides a service and that each area will come under review to see what the best solution is.

Back in 2012 grounds maintenance was also included in the initial wish-list, with the four departments making up £5 million of the £23 million spent each year.

The tactic, known as commissioning, is already in full swing at neighbouring Worcestershire County Council, where 85 per cent of services are due to be handed to outsiders by 2018.

Councillor Adrian Gregson, Labour group leader, said: "The new administration wants to privatise everything - what we are seeing is the Guildhall being ran from County Hall.

"We left the finances in good order when they took over, we had a transformation plan in place, there is no need to go down this route and rip it up."

Comments (5)

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1:13pm Tue 1 Jul 14

wonky willy says...

The council are trying to save money, but are the public aware that they are at the last stages of pushing through a restructure, where most of the front line staff are being dropped down a pay grade potentially losing up to £2000 a year out of there salaries while alot of the management have gone up two grades earning themselves a nice little pay rise. There has been a pay freeze for city council workers for the last 5 years, so it all seems like under hand tactics have been at play to benefit themselves.
With the conservatives now in power looking to commission out the works means that front line staff yet again are the target and will loose out. Maybe they should start by getting rid of the many over paid chiefs that are running it to the ground.
The council are trying to save money, but are the public aware that they are at the last stages of pushing through a restructure, where most of the front line staff are being dropped down a pay grade potentially losing up to £2000 a year out of there salaries while alot of the management have gone up two grades earning themselves a nice little pay rise. There has been a pay freeze for city council workers for the last 5 years, so it all seems like under hand tactics have been at play to benefit themselves. With the conservatives now in power looking to commission out the works means that front line staff yet again are the target and will loose out. Maybe they should start by getting rid of the many over paid chiefs that are running it to the ground. wonky willy
  • Score: 1

2:44pm Tue 1 Jul 14

green49 says...

Councillor Simon Geraghty, who drafted the original plan and is now back as city leader, says he intends to push for radical change.

WHAT ABOUT THE REVISITING OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL TOO? now they have been inundated with complaints and reacessments?? they have done a U turn on some things as they finally found Councillor Simon Geraghty and his merry men have got it wrong AGAIN, BUT WAIT WHOS PAYING FOR ALL THESE C*****S,??? US THE TAXPAYER.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, who drafted the original plan and is now back as city leader, says he intends to push for radical change. WHAT ABOUT THE REVISITING OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL TOO? now they have been inundated with complaints and reacessments?? they have done a U turn on some things as they finally found Councillor Simon Geraghty and his merry men have got it wrong AGAIN, BUT WAIT WHOS PAYING FOR ALL THESE C*****S,??? US THE TAXPAYER. green49
  • Score: -4

10:08pm Tue 1 Jul 14

DarrenM says...

first park and ride being axed, then the parking charges drop, and finally all the overpaid council staff getting the axe or being forced to work for a living in the private sector. Christmas has come early this year!
first park and ride being axed, then the parking charges drop, and finally all the overpaid council staff getting the axe or being forced to work for a living in the private sector. Christmas has come early this year! DarrenM
  • Score: 2

10:03am Wed 2 Jul 14

green49 says...

DarrenM says...

first park and ride being axed, then the parking charges drop, and finally all the overpaid council staff getting the axe or being forced to work for a living in the private sector. Christmas has come early this year!

OH how boring you are? if the council jobs are so good WHY havent you got one? your conception of a council worker is so old hat, get a life and you should also respect these people ( i am not on about the vastly overpaid so called managers) but the workers who look out for you and me as taxpayers because when these folk go the Private sector will rip us all off and then your TAX will be going to some faceless manager and you will have no redress. be careful what you wish for.
DarrenM says... first park and ride being axed, then the parking charges drop, and finally all the overpaid council staff getting the axe or being forced to work for a living in the private sector. Christmas has come early this year! OH how boring you are? if the council jobs are so good WHY havent you got one? your conception of a council worker is so old hat, get a life and you should also respect these people ( i am not on about the vastly overpaid so called managers) but the workers who look out for you and me as taxpayers because when these folk go the Private sector will rip us all off and then your TAX will be going to some faceless manager and you will have no redress. be careful what you wish for. green49
  • Score: 0

10:07am Wed 2 Jul 14

green49 says...

I see i got some minus against my first comments, THE TRUTH HURTS DOESNT IT? This County council have made a right mess and have now got agency staff in as they got rid of there own who would deal with the reasscessments and other things, thats good buisness??? What a load of ******* Taxpayers footing the bill again,
I see i got some minus against my first comments, THE TRUTH HURTS DOESNT IT? This County council have made a right mess and have now got agency staff in as they got rid of there own who would deal with the reasscessments and other things, thats good buisness??? What a load of ******* Taxpayers footing the bill again, green49
  • Score: -1

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