North Somerset Council will be meeting at 6 pm on 6th May to approve the start of a process which will lead to further council jobs and services being transferred to the private company Agilisys, who provide the council's support services. The contract was originally awarded in October 2010 and involved Agilisys (with sub-contractor Liberata) providing council services including ICT, Human Resources, Payroll, Facilities Management, Procurement, the Council's Contact Centre, and Revenues and Benefits. At the time UNISON opposed the contract and challenged the Council's claim that it would result in improved services and better value for money.
UNISON has some serious concerns about the proposal to transfer more jobs and services to a private company who have failed to deliver what they promised. In 2010, when the council awarded the contract, the cost of Support Services was £10.3 million and Agilisys promised to reduce that cost to £8.5 million by 2014. But current costs are now £10.6 million - that's £2 million a year above what Agilisys promised. At the same time Agilisys' accounts show their profits have risen since taking on the contract and in 2013 they paid a £7 million dividend to their share holders - part of this is North Somerset council taxpayers money. The residents of North Somerset may well then think that the council ought to be looking to terminate this contract, which has quite plainly failed to reduce costs. But rather than terminate the contract they are now planning to give Agilisys even more jobs and services and extend their contract to 15 years. We think that this is bad news for the council and bad news for council taxpayers.
North Somerset UNISON wants to stop the council privatising more services and we need all council staff and all North Somerset residents to join our campaign.
UNISON will also be lobbying the council meeting 5.30 pm on 6th May outside the old Town Hall in Weston super Mare - please join us.