Services given to private firm

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AN AGREEMENT which will see a third of Wellingborough Council’s staff employed by a private firm is being finalised and will come into effect from next month.

From March 1 around 100 council workers’ jobs will be transferred to the Norse Group.

Workers will continue to work for the new firm under the same terms and conditions they are currently on.

Wellingborough Norse will take over the running of council services including waste and refuse collection, street cleansing, cemeteries, public toilets, car parks, the market, environmental enforcement and grounds maintenance.

The deal is set to save the council £2.3m over five years.

Council leader Paul Bell said: “Wellingborough Norse is a joint company that will see the wide range of duties carried out by our environmental services teams continue, with the same employees, but the systems behind the work will be more streamlined and cost effective.

“And from March 1 the company will also be able to bid for extra work around the borough – it will have the expertise and the equipment and it can use that to get more contracts, for example collecting trade waste or servicing heavy goods vehicles.”

He said Wellingborough Norse would also immediately be recruiting for permanent jobs to replace agency workers.

Graham Jermyn, Norse Commercial Services director, said: “We were able to identify a number of potential areas of savings for the council. These include insurance costs, asset acquisition and maintenance, procurement and dedicated back office support and systems.

“We’ll be working as an effective partnership rather than on a supplier/contractor basis, and will reinvest these savings into further service improvements.”