Middlesbrough in £260m partnership

14 Jun 01
Middlesbrough Council has entered into a £260m public-private partnership with Hyder Business Services, the biggest deal of its kind in Northeast England.

15 June 2001

The ten-year partnership will deliver a wide range of front-line services, including housing benefits, council tax, telecoms and information technology. Up to 1,000 council staff will be employed by HBS under the deal, which will also create around 500 new jobs.

According to the council, the PPP deal will save it £20m over ten years and keep its services in line with government delivery targets.

HBS plans a £25m investment in technology and training to offer improved customer services, and will develop a 'one-stop' customer service centre and regional business centre. The company has similar, smaller deals with Bedfordshire and Lincolnshire county councils.

Middlesbrough deputy leader Sylvia Connolly said: 'The partnership marks a new way of providing local services, one which makes the best use of technology and the skills and commitment of our workforce, and effectively combines the best in the public and private sectors to ensure that services are easy to access and customer-friendly.'

According to Tim Bush, TGWU regional industrial organiser, a good deal has been struck, ensuring improved customer services and continued security for its members. 'The council would have been struggling to meet government targets to the detriment of others if it had kept services in-house,' Bush said. 'This partnership will benefit all those involved.'

John Jasper, chief executive of HBS, said: 'Through investment in training and technology, we plan to create an environment in which an excellent workforce can use their skills to provide excellent services.'


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