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Staff asked to propose mutuals to save money

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A shared chief executive wants staff to set up mutuals as her councils look to merge back-office functions.

Employees at Torridge and Teignbridge DCs have been asked to come up with proposals for joint working across support services, and chief executive Nicola Bulbeck, left, believes mutuals will be one of the options presented.

“Some staff are interested in employee mutuals and have flagged them up as something they would like to see,” Ms Bulbeck said.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude recently announced 12 ‘pathfinder’ mutuals as part of the government’s drive to diversify provision of public services.

A ‘fit for the future’ review is looking at how the two councils can bring together eight support services. The councils are asking staff for proposals on how to cut costs by at least 25%, including the creation of employee mutuals.

Teignbridge DC finance and HR director Simon Barnes said no such proposals would be developed ahead of the May elections.

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Readers' comments (1)


    Postgrad students at Canterbury Christ Church University's postgrad certificate in shared services have been studying this concept. It sounds like a good idea but maybe the TECKAL test needs to be applied. In an article on Mutuals and EU law that lgcplus published on 24th Nov Eversheds said,"... there would be no guarantee a council would be able to hand the work to its new mutual because EU procurement laws dictate any contract for services worth more than £156,000 needs to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Communities in a “transparent fair and open process”. A similar problem was encountered earlier this year when a number of CExs suggested that council contracts be offered to " local businesses". EU law would challenge that too.

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