William Eichler 03 April 2018

New Oxford City Council trading companies commit to deliver £10.4m

The commercial division of Oxford City Council has announced it plans to deliver over £10m in value back to the council by setting up two wholly-owned local authority trading companies.

Oxford Direct Services has set up Oxford Direct Services Limited to serve the council and Oxford Direct Services Trading Limited for commercial work. The council estimates the new organisations will deliver £10.4m in value.

Set-up in 2012 to deliver all of the authority’s frontline services and to provide commercial services to local businesses, Oxford Direct Services has returned £4.7m to the council to date in the form of cost savings and returns from delivering commercial activities.

They plan to raise and save more revenue through the continued expansion of its contracts with commercial business and organisations offering services such as building services, highways & engineering, commercial waste, and more.

Over 700 frontline council services staff have been transferred to the new local authority trading companies, which will be wholly-owned by the council.

‘Everyone in the team is very proud of the improvement in council services and efficiencies we have delivered as Oxford Direct Services and the financial contribution we have made to date through our commercial services,’ said Simon Howick, managing director at Oxford Direct Services.

‘For those residents and organisations where we deliver council services, very little will change. The City Council remains our single, largest customer and we will continue to strive to improve our services and efficiencies.

‘However, under the new structure, we will also be able to maximise the commercial opportunity by offering our expertise to a wider range of organisations – delivering even more revenue back to the Council to spend on community services.’

Tim Sadler, chairman of Oxford Direct Services, added: ‘The new structure will allow Oxford Direct Services to thrive for the good of the community. It will allow the organisation to continue to grow its financial contributions to the council, continue to keep the costs of council service delivery down and provide additional, good quality job opportunities and apprenticeships over the coming years.’

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