Jonathan Werran 07 June 2012

Shropshire to create council-run service company

Shropshire Council has voted to transfer more than 1,700 staff to a new council-owned company, which is set to become one of the county’s major employers.

Under proposals approved yesterday, staff currently working in catering, cleaning and facilities management, together with finance, personnel, IT, legal and print services employees would move to the new company - with a combined £36m budget.

Cllr Keith Barrow, leader of Shropshire Council, said recent legal changes permitting councils to make a profit underpinned the plans. He added the authority hoped to use its excess capacity in staffing to sell services to other councils, police and fire services and even the private sector.

As a next step, work will soon begin on developing full business cases for the new company, named IP&E - which stands for ‘Inspiring Partnerships and Enterprise’. A statutory 90-day consultation will also be held with staff and unions, with a view to moving the first staff across to IP&E by the end of the year.

Shropshire’s performance and strategy scrutiny committee will then examine the business cases, before they return later this year to full cabinet for final decisions on the company - when the second block of services timetabled for transfer in 2013 will also be identified.

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