Barnet review could bring regen back in house

Barnet Council has published a report which proposes undertaking a review to enable a potential realignment of the council’s partnership with Capita, which could mean regeneration and strategic planning moving back in house.

If approved the council will undertake the review with a view to bringing a final report to committee in the autumn of 2018.

The council has two major contracts with Capita, to deliver back office services and development and regulatory services. The council say the partnership has delivered significant financial savings since their commencement in 2013, as well as efficiencies and improvements across a range of services, but that there are other services where performance improvement is needed.

The committee will consider the proposals which set out the services being considered for a potential return to the council. These include Finance, Strategic HR, Management of the council’s land and property, Highways, Regeneration, Strategic Planning and Cemeteries and Crematoriums.

Seventeen services are proposed to stay with Capita, including Revenue & Benefits, Planning Applications, IT and Customer Services. The report sets out the principle that any realignment must deliver high quality services and secure best value for Barnet residents.

The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “Our priority is to deliver good quality, value for money services to our residents. Many things are working well and it’s right that we build on them. Where this is not the case, changes are needed.

“The committee will discuss the proposed review to realign services delivered under the Capita contracts. If the committee approves the recommendations, the review will develop more detailed proposals, but it’s important to stress any changes will only be recommended on the basis that they provide a good deal for the Barnet taxpayer.”

Jonathan Prew, Managing Director, Local Public Services, Capita, said: “We have partnered with Barnet since 2013. The proposed review is an opportunity to respond to changing circumstances and needs that have evolved over the last five years to ensure that a future partnership is focused on providing services that will deliver best value for residents and all stakeholders. Our partnership has achieved significant financial benefits and we continue to be focused on strengthening our performance where we need to and delivering quality services across the borough.”