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Cheshire councils pull IT back in-house



Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester backpedal on arrangement for CoSocius to run business services

Two local authorities in Cheshire have decided to drop a service set up just last year and retake full control of their IT, finance and transactional HR services.

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council are planning to resume control of the services in April of next year, with the former to run finance and HR for both and the latter taking over IT.

About 330 staff  will be transferred to become employees of the council relevant to their role. CoSocuis will continue to operate until then.

Business rethink

The company was set up in May 2014 to provide business services for the two councils with the opportunity to trade commercially. Representatives of both sides issued statements suggesting there has been a rethink about the business model for the service.

Councillor Louise Gittins (pictured), deputy leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and committee member, said: “CoSocius has had a number of notable successes. However, we are constantly reviewing the service to ensure we get best value for money for our council tax payers.

“Staff who transfer to one of the two councils will be protected and services will now be delivered in-house with a shared arrangement to ensure value for money.”

Dave Hudson, managing director of CoSocius, said: “The committee acknowledged that CoSocius had made progress in a number of areas and contributed to the success of other areas of both councils. However, the changing environment meant that many aspects of the company’s original agreed business plan had needed revisiting.”

The councils have been operating the services as a partnership since 2009, before the merger of Cheshire West and Chester. The IT operation came under criticism in a performance report in 2011.



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