Bournemouth Council chiefs set to bring back 22 staff from outsourcing partner Mouchel (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Bournemouth Council chiefs set to bring back 22 staff from outsourcing partner Mouchel
BOURNEMOUTH council bosses are set to bring 22 staff back ‘in-house’ from their outsourcing partner Mouchel .
The surprise move comes just five months after 12 of the staff – finance officers – joined the private company. But councillors say it is not a U-turn or a reflection on the performance of Mouchel , which currently has 480 former Bournemouth Council staff on the payroll from a number of departments.
Council leader Councillor John Beesley, told the Echo: “I am sure there will be criticism from the usual suspects but there is political support for this and it’s what is in the long term interests of the town.”
He described it as “fine tuning” of their Mouchel contract, which has been in place since December 2010. He said part of the reason was that the council is proposing to set up a community financing initiative to lend money to small and emerging businesses, social enterprises and individuals in the current, difficult economic climate.
Cllr Beesley declined to put a figure on how much the council could or would lend if the idea were to be approved by cabinet. But he added: “To be effective, obviously we would be talking about millions of pounds, but we will not be putting council taxpayers’ money at risk.
“Stimulating the local economy is critical. The government can’t do it all and the banks clearly don’t want to know. Local councils clearly have a role to play.”
Other staff being brought back include HR and IT specialists. Mouchel boss Tony Williams said he was not disappointed by the move, which he said was part of the evolving partnership between the company and the council.
President of Bournemouth Chamber of Trade Nigel Hedges, added: “Any new initiative to invest in the local economy is to be welcomed.
“It is vital if we are to get out of recession.”
The council’s outsourcing contract with Mouchel has been controversial and critics say there are still question marks over exactly how much it will deliver in terms of savings.