Published on 15th February 2017
Could you be a non-executive director on the boards for Publica Group – three new local authority owned companies providing services for district councils in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire?
We are looking for talented individuals to sit on the boards of these three companies which will become operational in the autumn to deliver services to Cheltenham Borough and Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils.
Cllr Patrick Molyneux, chairman of the Joint Committee, which is overseeing the development of Publica Group, said: “We are setting up the companies at the moment and are striving to provide great value services to councils and their communities. We believe the best boards have the best people and therefore would love to receive applications from individuals with the necessary skills from within or outside the four district council areas.
“Through working in this new way and forming companies it is projected to save us £41 million over 10 years – with annual savings of £5.9million forecast from 2020. We believe that establishing local authority companies is having the effect of creating a new market for the public sector which will over time drive up standards and efficiencies and drive down costs whilst retaining democratic accountability for each council.”
The role of non-executive directors is different to that of an executive director. They do not have responsibility for the day to day management of the companies but share the Board’s corporate responsibility for ensuring they are run efficiently, economically, safely and effectively. They will scrutinise the executive management’s performance in meeting agreed goals and objectives and monitor the reporting of performance. They must satisfy themselves on the integrity of financial information and that financial controls and a sound system for the management of risk are in place. They must be independent in judgement and constructively challenge and help develop decisions and strategy for which they bear equal responsibility.
The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 28 February.
For more information on the roles and how to apply please view the advert on our job pages.
For any general enquiries about the role, please contact David Neudegg, partnership managing director on 01993 861611 or email [email protected].
Press release prepared by: Rachael Orchard, Communications Officer, 2020 Programme: [email protected] or call 01285 623729.
Notes to editors
Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils, along with some service areas for Cheltenham Borough Council, have joined forces and in autumn this year local authority owned companies will become operational to provide their services.
The partnership has already delivered annual revenue savings of £2.3 million for the councils in 2015/16 and 2016/17. It is projected to save £41 million over 10 years – with annual savings of £5.9million forecast from 2020.
The councils agreed in June 2014 to form the four council partnership to make substantial savings whilst continuing to deliver services locally. It is known as the 2020 Vision Programme and is guided by the vision: ‘A number of Councils, retaining their independence and identity but working together and sharing resources to maximise mutual benefit leading to more efficient and effective delivery of local services.’
The 2020 Partnership is about preserving local services and increasing our resilience whilst respecting each council’s separate identity and retaining strong local knowledge.
Each council will still have its own elected members and will continue to make decisions taking account of the needs of its local community. There will be staff working in each location, as at present.
The partnership serves approximately 388,000 people in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire and covers 2,511sq km.
In 2014 the Government awarded the partnership a £3.4M Transformation Challenge Award (TCA) Grant to strengthen the shared working arrangement, develop and implement proposals.
The partner councils already shared human resources, finance and payroll services in what is known as GO (Gloucestershire Oxfordshire) Shared Service which started in 2012. They are also shareholders in Ubico Ltd. a Teckal company established in 2012 providing environmental services. As expected in the current financial climate each partner’s medium term financial strategy needed further significant savings to be made as well as each facing the longer term challenge of how to deal with the increasing costs of the Local Government Pension Scheme. The GO shared service was working well and it seemed a logical next step in their partnership to build on this foundation. In April 2016 the initial shared services were extended to include:
- Information Technology
- Public Protection
- Building Control
- Customer Services
- Revenues and Benefits
(Not all councils are necessarily involved in each of these as some have different arrangements.)
The partners set up a Joint Committee, comprising of two councillors from each partnership council, in early 2016 to make the changes and are now establishing local authority owned companies to take over the running of all the remaining council services in autumn 2017. The local authority owned companies will provide all the services currently provided by Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils plus ICT, HR and finance for Cheltenham Borough Council. Staff from Cotswold, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District councils will transfer into a company in the autumn.
One benefit of setting up these local authority owned companies is pension savings as new members of staff will be employed with a stakeholder pension. All staff will be employed with a common set of terms and conditions; there will be more opportunity for commercialisation and trading to create additional income and through joining forces to buy services will save more money.