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Borough announces £34m outsourcing deal



Liberata to take over more than one third of Burnley’s workforce under 10-year contract

Burnley Council, Lancashire, has awarded a 10-year, £34m contract to business process outsourcing firm Liberata in a deal expected to save the council £8m over the decade. The deal covers both frontline and back office services, and involves the transfer of about 120 jobs – more than a third of the council workforce – to the private sector.

Running from 1 January 2016, the contract covers Burnley’s customer services, IT, payroll and HR, facilities management, environmental health and licensing, and revenue, benefits and debt management services. The company, which already provides a range of services to neighbouring Pendle council, hopes to use the deal to win further business. “Liberata has the objective of retaining jobs, skills and talent in Burnley and is looking to grow jobs and services in our borough,” said council leader Mark Townsend, who told residents that Liberata will inject £4.9m and up to 100 new jobs into the borough.

Radically different

“Bringing in a strategic partner is a new approach, which will make the council look and feel radically different,” he added. “Key points are that the council remains responsible for the services; that Burnley residents will continue to receive the services being transferred; and these will be delivered by people with local knowledge.”

Charlie Bruin, Liberata’s managing director for business process services, commented: “Key to enabling Burnley Council to meet its strategic objectives will be service innovation and digital transformation. We have a demonstrable track record in enabling our clients to drive down costs, while at the same time improve both the citizen and employee experience of critical services.”

In a press release, the council – in which Labour holds two thirds of the seats – explained that over half of its core funding has been cut since 2010, resulting in job losses of 30 per cent. Following the TUPE transfers to Liberata, the council’s workforce will have fallen by more than half over six years.

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