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20 August 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
North Tyneside Council has awarded a £200 million 10-year deal to outsource business services, including procurement, to Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP).
The local authority’s ‘Change Efficiency and Improvement Programme’ has a target to save £47 million over the next four years. This contract is one measure to achieve this, outsourcing procurement, finance, IT and HR. BBLP is currently the preferred bidder, and the deal will be confirmed following the end of the procurement process. This deal is expected to save £4.9 million in the first three years.
The contract will mean 420 council employees will be transferred to BBLP, and will operate out of the council offices. The deal also has the option to be extended for a further five years. The council expects local businesses to also benefit as the private sector partner will have greater flexibility to procure services from local providers.
The authority chose to outsource as sharing services with neighbouring authorities would not have saved enough money. Continuing to provide the business services in-house would have resulted in the loss of over 300 jobs.
“The partnership with external providers is the best solution for the council, its taxpayers, its staff and the borough. They will enable the council to invest in services, safeguard employee jobs and deliver further growth and investment for the borough, as well as achieve the stringent, efficient targets we have set,” said Linda Arkley, mayor of North Tyneside.
“We already have existing partnerships with over 20 local authorities nationwide, offering similar services and we are dedicated to providing effective services,” said Terry Woodhouse, managing director, Balfour Beatty Living Places.