Barnet Council officers have recommended Capita as the preferred bidder to join the council in a joint venture to deliver development and regulatory services in the borough. The contract will be delivered by Capita’s property and infrastructure business – Capita Symonds.
The new joint venture will provide savings to the council of £39 million over current costs on a contract worth £154 million over 10 years. The business will be based in Barnet and will keep staffing at broadly the current level.
In addition to financial savings the proposals also provide for an investment of £8.2million, largely in new technology, improving facilities and staff training.
The joint venture will play a key role in enhancing the environment of the borough and ensuring the borough’s growth benefits the largest number of residents. Barnet is home to two of London’s major regeneration sites; Colindale, where the Metropolitan Police College site is shortly to come into the market, and Brent Cross Cricklewood, where the non-retail elements alone cover 151 hectares.
The joint venture will provide Building Control, Land charges, Planning (Development Management), Strategic Planning and Regeneration, Highways Services, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Licensing and Cemetery and Crematorium services to the borough.
Planning Policy will be set by elected councillors and planning committees will continue exactly as at present.
Capita was selected as preferred bidder to run Barnet’s back office services earlier this year in a separate contract. The council successfully defended a judicial review into the service change last month. The appellant is seeking leave to appeal.
The NSCSO contract and the DRS contract together will generate savings to the Barnet taxpayer of £164 million over the coming decade.
Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council said:
“This is very good news for the Barnet taxpayer and users of these services. Our savings will mean there will be money available to spend on other frontline services and an investment in new technology to improve our service to residents.”
“This is a very difficult time for local government but Barnet has faced up to the twin challenges of falling income and rising demand. We have taken difficult decisions and taken them early and that leaves us well placed for the coming years.”
The proposal will be put to the council’s cabinet on June 24.