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County Council Admits Big Spend To Achieve Big Savings

Bucks CC 3

5:07pm 27th June 2011

The County Council's revealed it's spent £250,000 - just to keep the CURRENT way it looks after issues like building repairs, office cleaning and security.

As part of it's £9m cut-backs, it needed to save £1.3m from Facilities Management.

The new leader of the County Council, admitted to Mix 96 it cost them a lot of money to go through the process which was Government approved to choose either a private firm to do the work or keep it "in-house".

But Martin Tett says keeping the council-run system - with improvements - will actually offer a greater saving in the long run.

The £5m service, which includes building repairs and improvements, office cleaning, reception and security services, was tested using the Government's recognised Facilities Management Framework.

Six external bids were received and evaluated against business case objectives and an in-house transformation proposal. Despite a range of competitive bids, the proposal for revisions to the in-house service came closest to delivering the required £1.3m of savings over the next five years.

Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Peter Cartwright said it was important to ensure that all Council services were rigorously assessed on quality and value for money against the very best on offer from the private sector.

"We've put our facilities management service through the toughest of assessments. Whilst we will need to make further cost savings including some redundancies to achieve the final savings target, the in-house proposal represents the best and most affordable way forward. I'm well aware that many other public and private sector organisations outsource their FM provision, but for us, this approach did not quite stack up in terms of what we needed.

By continuing with a revised in-house approach, the Council hopes it will be able to protect much of the money it spends with local firms and other suppliers.

Leader of the Council, Martin Tett told mix96: "Around 65% of our facilities management budget is currently spent within the local supply chain which is important for both Buckinghamshire businesses and our economy. Through the proven efficiency of the in-house service and further changes to be developed to deliver savings, we have been able to ensure this continues.  

He continued, "Robust and independent market testing is never cheap and in this instance we have spent some £250,000 to get to this position. However, it's critical we make the right decisions and this expenditure has now set us on the right track for achieving the £1.3m savings we require."     

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