Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Council handover plans back on the cards
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.
"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."