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Denbighshire deal creates shared service centre



Transfer of revenues and benefits to Civica provides basis for 'on demand' services to other authorities

Denbighshire County Council has agreed to transfer its revenues and benefits operation to Civica in a deal that will establish a service centre that could be used by other authorities in the surrounding region.

The council is transferring 74 employees to the company under TUPE regulations, and will pay for the service at a rate that should provide savings of £200,000 annually. The service centre, named Canolfan Elwy and wholly owned by Civica, went live yesterday and will become available for other councils to use for processes on an 'on demand' basis.

Tim Magness, marketing director of Civica, told UKAuthority: "The idea is to carry on delivering the current service but with savings from the council from day one. We're setting up the service centre not just for the core service to Denbighshire but for a range of services to other customers."

These are likely to focus on services in which there is an element of assessment and collection. He said there has already been interest from other authorities, reflecting a wish to obtain savings without committing to long term outsourcing contracts.

It will initially continue to use the existing Capita revenues and benefits software and Magness said the centre can quickly implement others as needed. He cited an example of Civica's Electronic Mail Room.

Working model

The deal provides a North Wales version of a model that the company already has working in the south-west and west of England, with service centres at Gloucester and South Worcestershire. Magness said these have provided services to an additional 17 and 12 other councils respectively, in some cases for a limited period, in others for a longer term.

Denbighshire's cabinet lead member for finance, Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, said: "The agreement means we can look to the future knowing we can not only maintain but improve and grow the work we do in Denbighshire and actually create more jobs further down the line through taking on work for other authorities."

The value of the contract has not been disclosed.

Pictured: Steve Shakespeare, managing director of Civica Services, and Councillor Brian Blakeley, chair of Denbighshire County Council

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