In an internal memo sent by Comrade Burgesski and his snivelly looking counterpart from Cheshire West And Chester (CWAC) there is an update on what is euphemistically called the development of a Shared Services Programme. It reads:
As you know, across the council we are engaging with employees about the future vision for the organisation. Against a challenging back drop of national cuts to our budget and increasing demand for our services, we are having to consider different ways of providing services to our communities as one strand of redefining the council. One such way is through the shared services programme we are working on with our neighbouring Cheshire authorities. We are now pleased to share our joint proposals for shared services with you, which are due to be formally considered by councillors in January.
• We will jointly establish a new company, fully controlled by both Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester Council, for our professional corporate services. The company will operate with a strong public ethos philosophy (sic).
• This company will be established by 1st April 2014 (NO JOKE!) and staff will start to move into the company on a phased basis up until October 2014.
• Our company will seek to grow in the future to provide services to other public sector organisations. This will help make the company successful in the long term, making savings for both councils and improving future employment opportunities for staff.
• We will standardise ways of working and invest in shared technology to deliver efficient, corporate services which are both efficient and best in their class.
• We will keep a small unit acting jointly for both councils to ensure excellent governance and high standards of probity, to order services from the new company, to set standards and to oversee performance.
• We will also gain agreement on all sides for Wirral Council to become a full partner in the separate company which is already in the process of being established between Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East. Called ‘CoSocius’, this will provide all transactional support services to all three councils.
The update also states “Our Joint Shared Services Programme Team based in Wallasey Town Hall has been very busy….”.
Haven’t they just! – selling their colleagues down the River Dee by the sounds of it!
So what is this mysterious organisation ‘CoSocius’?
Their website http://cosocius.co.uk/ fails to mention the potential link up with Wirral but instead heralds their links with Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester Councils.It is significantly described on the website a “private limited company”.
However we have a few observations from Leaky Towers –
Firstly, CoSocius ? ! Seriously?- What kind of an unholy mash-up of a company name is that? For a start we defy anyone to say CoSocius without sounding drunk.
Go on try! ………. See we told you so !
Secondly – funny how on the one hand the Labour controlled Wirral Council wants to buddy up with other Merseyside Councils to create the Peoples Socialist Republic of Merseyside and yet are seemingly quite happy to propose working with the Tory-controlled Cheshire Councils to hive off their own back-room boys and girls into the private sector.
Thirdly – we’d be interested to know what the local unions think of these proposals. We suspect that if Wirral was a Tory -controlled Council making the proposal to shunt public sector workers into the private sector there would be an outcry – but as we know that’s not how the unions roll on Wirral, especially when some of their reps are actually on the pay-roll …..
Remember Wirral Council staff you need to be conscious of CoSocius – this is where the public service ethos philosophy comes at a price……..and that includes you!.