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Harlow Council presses ahead with plans to bring cleaning and repairs in-house

Politics / Fri 30th Oct 2015 at 05:16pm

HARLOW Council has begun recruitment for a fixed-term Senior Project Manager as it presses ahead with the transfer of its environmental and housing maintenance services and assets to a new Local Authority Trading Company (LATC).

A fixed-term Senior Project Manager post will lead on the transfer of services currently provided by Kier Harlow Ltd to the LATC in February 2017 and work closely with Kier Services Ltd. The current contract for the provision of services by Kier Harlow Ltd expires on 31 January 2017. The Council entered into a joint venture partnership with Kier Support Services (now called Kier Services) in February 2007 which resulted in the formation of Kier Harlow Ltd.

The Joint Venture Company (JVCo) provides a range of front-line services including housing repairs and maintenance, repairs to Council buildings, street cleaning, grass cutting, pest control, stray dog collection, repairs and maintenance to drainage, gullies and highways owned by Harlow Council.

An options appraisal was carried out by the Council which included independent reports by consultants looking at the best way to providing these services in the future. The cost of the services and the implementation costs of setting up the LATC were included in the options appraisal and will be funded by existing approved budgets at no extra cost to Council Taxpayers, Council tenants and Council leaseholders.

Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “Evaluations carried out by the Council recognised the need for a Senior Project Manager to support the successful transfer of services, staff and resources to the LATC and the demobilisation of Kier Harlow Ltd. Therefore, we are looking for a person to join us on a temporary basis to help us with this innovative and unique transfer.

“The transfer of services such as street cleaning, grass cutting and housing maintenance and moving around 400 plus staff is a major task and we are looking for someone with extensive commercial experience who can manage this transition successfully.

“A LATC will give us the flexibility to bring services back under our control while operating commercially. A detailed independent report showed that the LATC option represents the best value for money and is the cheapest option for providing services in the future, while maintaining quality. This is why it is important that we get the right person in place with the right calibre to manage this task.”

A report on the setting up and governance arrangements for the Local Authority Trading Company is now expected to be considered by Cabinet in December 2015.

More information on the new post can be found at www.harlow.gov.uk/jobs

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