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Tuesday, 22 October

County Lines - Derby To Take A Suffolk Punt

Derbyshire County Council's HQ

September 11 saw members of Derbyshire County Council debating a Suffolk County Council JV proposal and the transfer of cleaning and caretaking services along with some design and construction activities.

Cleaning and caretaking services currently sit under  a Corporate Property division.

Councillor Angelique Foster, Cabinet Member for Council Services, told ThisWeekinFM: “We decided earlier this year that we would look for other organisations to run our cleaning, caretaking and some design and construction services, as part of our Enterprising Council approach.

“We have spent the last few months looking at what the best option might be and we are recommending that we start talks with Suffolk County Council about subsidiary companies they already have running these services.

“Keeping cleaning and caretaking within the public sector is the best possible option for our customers, the main schools across the county and our employees. The deal would offers best value for money for council tax payers at this time.

“If cabinet agree, then we will start detailed negotiations and would hope, if all goes well, that our employees could move over to work for Suffolk and its subsidiaries by next March."


Best fit

Councillor Foster continued: “Suffolk offered the best fit for our services and have a good track record of working for schools. If employees transfer then this will be done under the usual procedures, with their employment rights protected.

”The proposals also will ensure that we offer as much work as possible to small local contractors to support the Derbyshire economy.”


Surplus properties

A new approach to selling surplus properties was also set out in a report to be put forward to the council cabinet. Councillor Foster said: "If cabinet agree, then we will start negotiations with an organisation called Public Sector Plc (PSP) about setting up a partnership to support us with this work. And, if approved, we will also start work to look for a lead contractor to carry out major construction projects."


The proposals are:

  • Set up a joint venture company with Suffolk County Council’s subsidiary Vertas to run all cleaning and caretaking services. All cleaning and caretaking employees would move to work for the new company.

  • Set up a joint venture company with Suffolk County Council’s subsidiary Concertus to provide design services for construction projects costing over £50,000. Some design employees would move to the new company.

  • Continue to provide design and construction services for projects that cost under £10,000, and continue to design and manage projects that cost up to £50,000 and all disability facility projects. These employees would continue to be employed by Derbyshire County Council.

  • Continue to use small local contractors to carry out construction projects that cost between £10,000 and £50,000.

  • Appoint a lead contractor to carry out construction projects that cost over £50,000. Employees will move to work for the new lead contractor. The lead contractor may choose to use other contractors and will be encouraged to use local firms.

  • Set up a partnership with a company called Public Sector Plc and work with them to identify surplus land and properties and make best use of them, which could include developing or disposal.

Picture: Derbyshire County Council's HQ where a Joint venture with Suffolk County Council for cleaning and other services was discussed in week ending September 13.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer


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