News : Serco to Takeover Lincolnshire County Council Customer Services
June 18, 2014 -- A takeover of county council customer support and back-office services has been officially signed and sealed.
Lincolnshire County Council officials met with Serco bosses at the Lincolnshire Show to mark the contract.
The company will provide customer service, HR and finance services once the contract with current provider Mouchel ends next year.
It is all in a bid to make county council savings, with a five year agreement.
The move had sparked concerns over job losses, as it will see people and operations transferred from current provider Mouchel by April 2015.
However Serco officials reassured that they would retain existing jobs, and have now hinted at creating a Lincoln base for workers.
"We are currently in the process of making a decision," said Sean Hanson, Serco’s managing director for business process outsourcing in the public sector. "We hope to make an announcement about that in the next few weeks.
"What we are expecting by January time is a fit out done of the new property so we can start getting the new staff coming across, and seeing where their new place of work will be.
"It is an existing building that we are likely to fit out, but we have a couple of options and they are still in play at the moment, although they are both in the city centre."
Talks are already in progress about how staff and services will transfer from Mouchel, as Serco create the 350 person workspace.
"One of the commitments we made is that we will retain the same number of people in Lincoln as are already existing, in both the council services that are transferring to us and the Mouchel services that are transferring to us," Mr Hanson said.
Work to create the new contact centre would also involve investment into new equipment and systems to run the council services, he said.
"However one of bigger issues, rather than how much we spend on that, is making sure we have good public transport links, and we get a core location so that we can work with council staff as quickly as we can," Mr Hanson added.
Tony McArdle, Lincolnshire county council chief executive, said: "The financial saving to the county council will accrue from us having signed this contract. What we need to do is make a reality of that over the coming years.
"The end point is how we work in the five years to continue to get better value and quality."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Lincolnshire County Council:
Lincolnshire County Council is the county council that governs the non-metropolitan county of Lincolnshire in England. It has 77 councillors.
Published: Friday, June 20, 2014