Jobs to go as £300m BT Sandwell contract finishes

Jobs will be axed when Sandwell Council exits a £300 million contract with BT, it was confirmed today.

BT

The authority is to leave its planned 15-year partnership with BT called Transform Sandwell nine years early after bosses said they were unhappy with the service.

Around 300 employees are due to return to work for the council but council leader Darren Cooper said it was ‘inevitable’ some posts would be shed in the move.

The deal was signed in 2007, and saw the council pay £15 million a year to BT for the management of services including finance, customer contact and communication.

But last July the authority told the telecommunications giant it wanted to bring its contract to an end, unless BT addressed issues raised by the council within 30 days.

The disagreement could not be resolved and both parties have begun to draw up an exit plan to end their contract by March.

Councillor Cooper said: “There will be some job losses, there is no doubt about that. There is lots of duplication between what the council does and what Transform Sandwell have been doing, but obviously what we will try and do is minimise those like we have been doing with everything else.

“We are in a time of massive austerity – inevitably people are going to lose their jobs, but we are going to try and minimise the impact of that in staff coming back and staff in the council.”

It is forecast that the return of Transform Sandwell will see efficiency savings of approximately £2.5m in the 2015/16 financial year. A report which will be discussed at a meeting of the borough’s full council tomorrow states that the reintegration of returning services from Transform Sandwell is likely to take around 12 months to complete from the date services return to the authority.

It is also proposed that the deputy chief of the council, John Garrett, leads a root-and-branch review of the structure, management, operation and future development of the three central support directorates of the council, which it is forecast will increase the annual saving forecast to be around £4.5m from April 2016 onwards.

Councillor Cooper added: “The initial savings will come from pure efficiency, not from jobs and we estimate that to be around £3-4m over the first couple of years.”

The council’s ruling cabinet had decided to end the BT contract because it now has fewer workers due to redundancies prompted by government cuts.

The authority wanted to pay BT less to reflect the reduced volume of work.

Comments for: "Jobs to go as £300m BT Sandwell contract finishes"

Ivor

Following on from Sandwell's other successes

A failing Children's Services

A failing Education system

A Failed Housing plan

Dying High Streets

Only a socialist regime could even dream they could do a job better than a international blue chip company.

Of course Coopers “front line “will be protected by sacking front line working staff, while another load of “Highly paid managers” will be required to oversee the changes

I give it 6 months before the place is full of Consultants and temporary workers

Mrs Ivy Trellis

"The authority wanted to pay BT less to reflect the reduced volume of work"

So, by the same token, if the workload had increased Sandwell Council should pay more? – NO! Someone at SMBC did not do their homework regarding 'Fixed Price Contracts.' The 'Smart and Clever' will always pursue this route; however, it is not always appropriate – Especially over a 15 Year period. Contractors will deliberately 'Load' their bids and tenders to cover eventualities such as this.

Not only did the Butcher, Baker, and Second-Hand Car Dealers of SMBC think that they were being 'Smart and Clever,' they were also badly advised! – No doubt yet another 'Consultancy Fee' being paid to an International Consultant. In short, they were playing a game of 'Monopoly!'

Presumably, BT were shrewd enough to include 'Compensation Clauses,' should the contract be determined. Whatever the course of action, BT wins, and SMBC loses! £300m over 15 Years, equates £20m per annum – That is an awful lot of 'Pen Pushing!' – Roughly the equivalent of employing 400 Permanent Staff each year. The reality (I suspect), is that BT would have been astute enough to have ensured that they 'Collect' their payments during the early years of the agreement.

The 'Efficiency Savings' of £2.5m for 2015/2016 are a 'Drop in the Ocean;' as this must be offset by the inevitable administrative upheaval, which SMBC admits will take at least a year. Any projected savings beyond 2016 have to take account of the costs incurred in determining BT's Contract; which no doubt, will be substantial. The projected figures in the article are 'Window-Dressing,' and are flawed fundamentally.

Perhaps one solution might have been for SMBC to have 'Gifted' the 'Public' to BT in lieu of compensation? - At least in that way SMBC would have 'Demonstrated' that it could mitigate its losses; rather than allowing a further haemorrhage of Taxpayer's Money!

Ivor

Ivy, you had the right idea but the wrong building, Providence Place is the building to watch.

What a socialist quandary, If Cooper's team of “Business Experts” advise the council to move staff into other council buildings it will leave Providence Place almost empty.

What will the WBBS do? .Only months ago they showed interest in moving out of West Bromwich to Dudley,

Will the WBBS now go ahead and spend depositors money to build a new head office in Providence Place ? or will the WBBS now consider their exit options ?

The council Web site stated Providence Place would

generate £80 million in new investment

create hundreds of new jobs and training opportunities.

This lot has totally failed West Bromwich residents again

have a look at the photo's

http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/galleries/gallery/14/providence_place_gallery

Mrs Ivy Trellis

Thanks Ivor! Just keep in mind that all they need is enough rope to hang themselves!

By the way, 'The Titanic was built by experts too!'

toomanysecrets

Odd though 560 went to BT and 300 coming back?

Sure back in 2007 BT said they would create a extra 500 jobs?

Mrs Ivy Trellis

That was the 'Carrot' that BT 'Dangled' at the time, and no doubt SMBC accounted for this as an 'Opportunity Cost.'