Seven-year partnership involves transfer of 230 employees to new regional hub
Local government shared services group East Kent Services (EKS) has launched a new partnership with Civica to operate shared front-facing citizen and business services.
EKS – which takes in Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council and Thanet District Council - has signed a seven-year agreement with the company involving the transfer of more than 230 employees to deal with council tax and business rates, housing benefit, council tax support and customer enquiries.
The EKS Committee gave final approval for the partnership in late January, which will involve the creation of a hub that could take on work from other public sector organisations. It is aiming for savings of up to £5.3 million from the deal.
Dominic Whelan, director of shared services at EKS, said: “We are extremely proud of the fact the team at EKS has saved the three councils more than £6 million since it was created in 2011. But the financial challenges in the public sector continue to come thick and fast.
“Without our partnership with Civica, the three councils would have needed to invest £2 million extra in EKS over the next seven years in order to maintain the level of service we currently provide. Or they could have cut services and lost around 70 highly skilled jobs.
“By taking this path, the three councils have protected the jobs and terms and conditions of EKS staff and it is highly likely they will benefit from Civica’s expansion in the south-east at a time when every penny counts as councils fight to balance their budgets and maintain services. Civica has a successful track record in local government partnerships which supports the sustained provision of quality services and delivers savings.”