The signing follows a Court of Appeal ruling on Friday 2nd August which found in Barnet Council’s favour following a legal challenge brought by a resident against elements of the council’s One Barnet change programme.
The first contract for the New Support and Customer Services Organisation (NSCSO) will see Capita plc take over the running of the council’s back office services which includes customer services, human resources, finance and payroll, IT, revenues and benefits, estates, corporate procurement and commercial services.
The £320 million contract will run for ten years and generate savings to the taxpayer of £126 million over that time. Approximately 500 posts will transfer to work for Capita when the contract starts on 1 September 2013. Capita will also make an £8 million pound investment in technology to improve council back office services. The second contract will see Capita’s property and infrastructure business entering into a joint venture with Barnet Council to deliver development and regulatory services (DRS) in the borough. These services include; Building Control, Land charges, Planning (Development Management), Strategic Planning and Regeneration, Highways Services, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Licensing and Cemetery and Crematorium services to the borough.
The DRS contract is worth £39 million to the council through a combination of savings and income on a contract worth £154 million over 10 years. The business will be based in Barnet and will keep staffing at broadly the current level. The contract will commence on 1 October 2013. In addition to financial savings, the proposals also provide for an investment of £8.2million, largely in new technology, improving facilities and staff training.
Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “I am delighted that we are finally able to get on with delivering these savings to the Barnet taxpayer.“Residents’ expectations for council services are growing, even as we have to deal with tighter budgets. “Our strategic contracts with Capita aren’t about giving the same for less. They are based around improving and developing the services we have on offer over the next 10 years.” Gordon Hurst, Group Finance Director for Capita plc, said: “We look forward to building a strong and effective partnership with the council and most importantly improving services for the people of Barnet.”