Swindon Commercial Services to return to council

Waterside Park Recycling Centre

Waterside Park Recycling Centre

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SWINDON Council plans to bring most of the functions of Swindon Commercial Services back in-house as the company struggles with the public sector spending cuts.

SCS, based at Waterside Park, on Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, was spun-off as a council-owned company in 2010, allowing it to compete freely in the market and provide services to other organisations, producing extra income for the council and improving the efficiency of services.

The council says that, from 2010 to 2012, there was a steady increase in the value returned from SCS.

However, this position reversed during 2012/13, with SCS unable to absorb cost pressures experienced during the year, meaning the return to the council was significantly below the expected level, adding unexpected, late pressure to the council’s ability to deliver balanced budgets for 2012/13 and 2013/14.

The council says the Government has reduced the funding available for almost all public bodies, which were primarily the target market for SCS.

This has reduced the amount of work available, increased competition and tightened profit margins.

Now a special meeting of Cabinet will take place on Wednesday June 26to discuss plans to transfer back to the council the majority of the front-line and support services provided by SCS, including waste collection, but not the treatment, construction and management of buildings, and grounds maintenance.

SCS would be retained as a smaller specialist wholly-owned council company, concentrating its services on new and emerging green energy markets, such as refuse-derived fuel and photovoltaic cells, where there is perceived potential for growth.

The council says the transfer of the remaining operational and support services back to the council is intended to enable it to respond to current economic circumstances and develop fully integrated, high quality services.

Coun Mike Bawden, the cabinet member for strategic projects and transformation, said: “I believe it is prudentto re-focus efforts on those areas where we believe there is potential for growth and bring other services back in house.

“This will give us more flexibility to respond to the financial environment weare facing while delivering quality public services.” The plan, which needs approval from special committee or full council in July, would involve the transfer of 550 staff under rules which protect their terms and conditions.

But the council says the move would create net savings of £1.86m, with £1.352m coming from staffing and insurance savings as there would be some duplication in management after the transfer and this was where the bulk of staff savings would be made. SCS managing director Bill Fisher took early retirement this year and his role is being covered by council board directors.

In January, SCS, which employs 770 people, started a staff consultation on plans to shed up to 70 jobs to cope with expected ongoing reduced funding from council, as well as other public sector clients.

Council director Bernie Brannan, who is employed by SCS three days a week as the interim managing director, said SCS was disappointedsome of its work was being taken back, and was proud of what it had achieved in the last three years, but it understood why the council was proposing this.

Comments (20)

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5:48pm Thu 20 Jun 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Hmmmm.... I wonder what the rational at the time of creating SCS was... Cheaper, better quality services etc etc etc.

I wonder what the cost to set SCS up was? I wonder what the cost of winding most of it up will end up being. Most of all I wonder who will end up paying for this debacle.... But I suspect I already know and its the tax payer.


Given that these things don't just happen are we seeing another of the reasons Blur left the council leadership when he did?

Will we see any action against those councilors that set SCS up in the first place, given that it clearly has failed?

Who will end up correcting all the shoddy work like that of the Thamesdown Drive resurfacing and at whose expense?

The only people to come out of this experiment winners will be the printers and sign makers who have to supply all the rebranding items.
Hmmmm.... I wonder what the rational at the time of creating SCS was... Cheaper, better quality services etc etc etc. I wonder what the cost to set SCS up was? I wonder what the cost of winding most of it up will end up being. Most of all I wonder who will end up paying for this debacle.... But I suspect I already know and its the tax payer. Given that these things don't just happen are we seeing another of the reasons Blur left the council leadership when he did? Will we see any action against those councilors that set SCS up in the first place, given that it clearly has failed? Who will end up correcting all the shoddy work like that of the Thamesdown Drive resurfacing and at whose expense? The only people to come out of this experiment winners will be the printers and sign makers who have to supply all the rebranding items. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 2

8:12pm Thu 20 Jun 13

Meldrews Dad says...

Why are council tax payers picking up the tab for a failed business?

Get real councillors - if it's broke let it go bust. The organisation hardly has a great reputation. Tough on the staff but it's a cp;d world outside SBC offices.
Why are council tax payers picking up the tab for a failed business? Get real councillors - if it's broke let it go bust. The organisation hardly has a great reputation. Tough on the staff but it's a cp;d world outside SBC offices. Meldrews Dad
  • Score: 2

10:29pm Thu 20 Jun 13

Eastern Badger says...

I agree that someone should be accountable for this foreseeable failure - lets hope that someone grasps the idea that its not about making money but providing public services that are good value for the poorly regarded rate payers of Swindon. It's not beyond reason that they can carry out road repairs without contracting them to someone who does a poor job or cut the grass to make the town look tidy. Some chap in the Adver months ago said about slimy road signs yet they are the same - someone's not up to the job.
I agree that someone should be accountable for this foreseeable failure - lets hope that someone grasps the idea that its not about making money but providing public services that are good value for the poorly regarded rate payers of Swindon. It's not beyond reason that they can carry out road repairs without contracting them to someone who does a poor job or cut the grass to make the town look tidy. Some chap in the Adver months ago said about slimy road signs yet they are the same - someone's not up to the job. Eastern Badger
  • Score: 2

11:14pm Thu 20 Jun 13

1 2 Could B says...

Swindon Borough Clownschool strikes again
Swindon Borough Clownschool strikes again 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 1

8:48am Fri 21 Jun 13

Swindonboy says...

Eastern Badger- quite agree...why is it so difficult to cut the grass neatly and regularly in Swindon? Anything near road signs/lamposts in our street doesnt get cut and is currently knee high- I could do this myself but why should I when I already pay for it to be done through council tax- AND IFI DO THAT WILL TAKE ME OVER 4 GREEN BAGS !!!
Eastern Badger- quite agree...why is it so difficult to cut the grass neatly and regularly in Swindon? Anything near road signs/lamposts in our street doesnt get cut and is currently knee high- I could do this myself but why should I when I already pay for it to be done through council tax- AND IFI DO THAT WILL TAKE ME OVER 4 GREEN BAGS !!! Swindonboy
  • Score: 0

9:25am Fri 21 Jun 13

AdderB says...

Another expensive experiment with Council tax fails. Wonder how much this farce will cost us ?
Was a private firm created with Council Tax funding? .
Seems like the Wifi project all over again.
By the way , who proof read the headline because it seems wrong to me !
Wonder if the 'Forward Swindon' company will go the same way ? I would not bet against it.
Another expensive experiment with Council tax fails. Wonder how much this farce will cost us ? Was a private firm created with Council Tax funding? . Seems like the Wifi project all over again. By the way , who proof read the headline because it seems wrong to me ! Wonder if the 'Forward Swindon' company will go the same way ? I would not bet against it. AdderB
  • Score: 1

10:40am Fri 21 Jun 13

itsamess3 says...

"SCS would be retained as a smaller specialist wholly-owned council company, concentrating its services on new and emerging green energy markets, such as refuse-derived fuel and photovoltaic cells, where there is perceived potential for growth".

This all ties in with the proposed solar farm at the old wroughton airfield--let us hope for numerous reasons SCS do not get that contract as refuse derived panels are poor and inefficient.
"SCS would be retained as a smaller specialist wholly-owned council company, concentrating its services on new and emerging green energy markets, such as refuse-derived fuel and photovoltaic cells, where there is perceived potential for growth". This all ties in with the proposed solar farm at the old wroughton airfield--let us hope for numerous reasons SCS do not get that contract as refuse derived panels are poor and inefficient. itsamess3
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Fri 21 Jun 13

Ringer says...

This rather does highlight that most public services simply cannot exist in the real world and without the safety net of the taxpayer propping them up.

A damning indictment, really.
This rather does highlight that most public services simply cannot exist in the real world and without the safety net of the taxpayer propping them up. [p] A damning indictment, really. Ringer
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Fri 21 Jun 13

1 2 Could B says...

Ringer wrote:
This rather does highlight that most public services simply cannot exist in the real world and without the safety net of the taxpayer propping them up.

A damning indictment, really.
It shows how incompetent Swindon Borough Council are.
[quote][p][bold]Ringer[/bold] wrote: This rather does highlight that most public services simply cannot exist in the real world and without the safety net of the taxpayer propping them up. [p] A damning indictment, really.[/p][/quote]It shows how incompetent Swindon Borough Council are. 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 1

9:21pm Fri 21 Jun 13

Ringer says...

1 2 Could B wrote:
Ringer wrote:
This rather does highlight that most public services simply cannot exist in the real world and without the safety net of the taxpayer propping them up.

A damning indictment, really.
It shows how incompetent Swindon Borough Council are.
As you are a Labour stooge, everyone would expect such a misguided comment from you.

Ask your Labour party PR people for some slightly more original material... you never know, it might work if you actually put some effort in.
[quote][p][bold]1 2 Could B[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ringer[/bold] wrote: This rather does highlight that most public services simply cannot exist in the real world and without the safety net of the taxpayer propping them up. [p] A damning indictment, really.[/p][/quote]It shows how incompetent Swindon Borough Council are.[/p][/quote]As you are a Labour stooge, everyone would expect such a misguided comment from you. [p] Ask your Labour party PR people for some slightly more original material... you never know, it might work if you actually put some effort in. Ringer
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Fri 21 Jun 13

1 2 Could B says...

Another stupid Ringer rant
Another stupid Ringer rant 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

10:17am Sat 22 Jun 13

Ringer says...

1 2 Could B wrote:
Another stupid Ringer rant
Please explain how simply pointing out the truth about you, and your reasons for posting here, constitutes a 'rant'.
[quote][p][bold]1 2 Could B[/bold] wrote: Another stupid Ringer rant[/p][/quote]Please explain how simply pointing out the truth about you, and your reasons for posting here, constitutes a 'rant'. Ringer
  • Score: 0

11:55am Sat 22 Jun 13

Blackwell 2 says...

You are a ranter.
Probably a quarter pound short of a beefburger too
You are a ranter. Probably a quarter pound short of a beefburger too Blackwell 2
  • Score: 0

11:55am Sat 22 Jun 13

1 2 Could B says...

Endlessly insisting that people are a "Labour stooge" just because they object to the stupidity of Swindon Borough Council is ridiculous ranting.

Insisting that you speak the truth and insisting that you are grammatically superior to people makes it no less a rant
Endlessly insisting that people are a "Labour stooge" just because they object to the stupidity of Swindon Borough Council is ridiculous ranting. Insisting that you speak the truth and insisting that you are grammatically superior to people makes it no less a rant 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Sun 23 Jun 13

Ringer says...

There's no problem, at all, with people objecting to council stupidity. There are numerous things they've done, and are doing, that I also object to.

However, there is a well known contingent, only about three or four, who ARE local Labour party stooges and who post fairly regularly on the Adver site. They're not hard to spot.

Grammar and typos don't concern me, they're an irrelevance and inevitable. What does often appear strange is that certain people are unable to construct coherent posts that adhere to the basics of written English language and yet continue to post them with a tone of utter superiority.
There's no problem, at all, with people objecting to council stupidity. There are numerous things they've done, and are doing, that I also object to. [p] However, there is a well known contingent, only about three or four, who ARE local Labour party stooges and who post fairly regularly on the Adver site. They're not hard to spot. [p] Grammar and typos don't concern me, they're an irrelevance and inevitable. What does often appear strange is that certain people are unable to construct coherent posts that adhere to the basics of written English language and yet continue to post them with a tone of utter superiority. Ringer
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Sun 23 Jun 13

Ringer says...

Blackwell 2 wrote:
You are a ranter.
Probably a quarter pound short of a beefburger too
Oh good, you've come up with another 'line'. I wonder how many hundreds of times we can expect to see this one trotted out.

Interesting that you've gone back to your multiple logins within one thread tactic.
[quote][p][bold]Blackwell 2[/bold] wrote: You are a ranter. Probably a quarter pound short of a beefburger too[/p][/quote]Oh good, you've come up with another 'line'. I wonder how many hundreds of times we can expect to see this one trotted out. [p] Interesting that you've gone back to your multiple logins within one thread tactic. Ringer
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Sun 23 Jun 13

itsamess3 says...

Ringer wrote:
There's no problem, at all, with people objecting to council stupidity. There are numerous things they've done, and are doing, that I also object to.

However, there is a well known contingent, only about three or four, who ARE local Labour party stooges and who post fairly regularly on the Adver site. They're not hard to spot.

Grammar and typos don't concern me, they're an irrelevance and inevitable. What does often appear strange is that certain people are unable to construct coherent posts that adhere to the basics of written English language and yet continue to post them with a tone of utter superiority.
Very descriptive of yourself.
[quote][p][bold]Ringer[/bold] wrote: There's no problem, at all, with people objecting to council stupidity. There are numerous things they've done, and are doing, that I also object to. [p] However, there is a well known contingent, only about three or four, who ARE local Labour party stooges and who post fairly regularly on the Adver site. They're not hard to spot. [p] Grammar and typos don't concern me, they're an irrelevance and inevitable. What does often appear strange is that certain people are unable to construct coherent posts that adhere to the basics of written English language and yet continue to post them with a tone of utter superiority.[/p][/quote]Very descriptive of yourself. itsamess3
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Sun 23 Jun 13

1 2 Could B says...

Ringer wrote:
There's no problem, at all, with people objecting to council stupidity. There are numerous things they've done, and are doing, that I also object to.

However, there is a well known contingent, only about three or four, who ARE local Labour party stooges and who post fairly regularly on the Adver site. They're not hard to spot.

Grammar and typos don't concern me, they're an irrelevance and inevitable. What does often appear strange is that certain people are unable to construct coherent posts that adhere to the basics of written English language and yet continue to post them with a tone of utter superiority.
Immense irony.
LMAO

One day Mr tiny brain might realise I am not connected to The Labour Party and I have never defended them (as he has with the likes of Perkins and Bluh)

In the meantime we can all just laugh at his inane rantings
[quote][p][bold]Ringer[/bold] wrote: There's no problem, at all, with people objecting to council stupidity. There are numerous things they've done, and are doing, that I also object to. [p] However, there is a well known contingent, only about three or four, who ARE local Labour party stooges and who post fairly regularly on the Adver site. They're not hard to spot. [p] Grammar and typos don't concern me, they're an irrelevance and inevitable. What does often appear strange is that certain people are unable to construct coherent posts that adhere to the basics of written English language and yet continue to post them with a tone of utter superiority.[/p][/quote]Immense irony. LMAO One day Mr tiny brain might realise I am not connected to The Labour Party and I have never defended them (as he has with the likes of Perkins and Bluh) In the meantime we can all just laugh at his inane rantings 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Mon 24 Jun 13

Ringer says...

itsamess3 wrote:
Ringer wrote:
There's no problem, at all, with people objecting to council stupidity. There are numerous things they've done, and are doing, that I also object to.

However, there is a well known contingent, only about three or four, who ARE local Labour party stooges and who post fairly regularly on the Adver site. They're not hard to spot.

Grammar and typos don't concern me, they're an irrelevance and inevitable. What does often appear strange is that certain people are unable to construct coherent posts that adhere to the basics of written English language and yet continue to post them with a tone of utter superiority.
Very descriptive of yourself.
Hmm, no, try again.
[quote][p][bold]itsamess3[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ringer[/bold] wrote: There's no problem, at all, with people objecting to council stupidity. There are numerous things they've done, and are doing, that I also object to. [p] However, there is a well known contingent, only about three or four, who ARE local Labour party stooges and who post fairly regularly on the Adver site. They're not hard to spot. [p] Grammar and typos don't concern me, they're an irrelevance and inevitable. What does often appear strange is that certain people are unable to construct coherent posts that adhere to the basics of written English language and yet continue to post them with a tone of utter superiority.[/p][/quote]Very descriptive of yourself.[/p][/quote]Hmm, no, try again. Ringer
  • Score: 0

12:23am Tue 25 Jun 13

1 2 Could B says...

Wow.
Over 24 hours and that's your best comment?

Trolltastic
Wow. Over 24 hours and that's your best comment? Trolltastic 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

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