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  • "One dramatic change that Commisioning brings is the huge power of the County Council to control where the funding for services is placed.
    Just a short while back a decision was taken by Worcestershire County Council to close Blackmore House Bromsgrove the only residential Dementia home owned by WCC in Worcestershire. Those (residents and daycare families etc) who were campaigning against the closure put forward very passionate / sound reasons for it to remain open. The home had a very good name among residents and Day care users families, and had good reports from the CQC inspections. And having had converstaions with the management of the home who were also passionate about it's purpose and success, it could be suggested / recognised that WCC were not sending enough clients to this home to keep it financially viable.
    Enquiries seemed to identify that there was what could be seen as a politically motivated policy for the Dispersal (their words) of Dementia clients into the communities, and to be cared for by Care in the Home services, which in many cases would not provide 24 hour care(only for cases of critical care) , so a much greater emphasis to fall onto the families.
    Alright for those who had families, but in many instances the elderly partners of these clients were in need of care themselves and the reason why their loved ones were in residential care in the first place.
    It was also thought that the WCC wished to sell the property or use it in another developement, This I understand has happened.
    So Commisioning will give WCC huge financial powers over all it's services that go out for tender, since they will be the paymaster. It is vital that any commisioning should be awarded wisely and watertight to mis-appropriate interpretation. It seem the losers again could be the clients.
    Currently we are ;looking at the CONservatives to administer these schemes???"
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Council hands in-house architects jobs to private sector company

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A STACK of architects jobs at Worcestershire County Council are being handed to a massive private sector company, it has emerged.

The cash-strapped authority has struck a deal with US-based Jacobs to take over the in-house professional design services team.

The service employs around 30 top-notch architects who help with construction-related matters for schools across Worcestershire, any other public sector bodies that need help and the council's own raft of buildings.

Under the agreement the firm will take on all the staff and employ them directly on the same terms and conditions, adding to its 8,000-strong UK workforce.

The deal, which has been in the making for weeks, comes after the council revealed it wanted to hive off 85 per cent of all services by 2018.

Your Worcester News understands Jacobs fought off competition from several other private sector firms to take the workers on.

It has a turnover of around £10 billion and already has lucrative contracts with central Government and dozens of other councils.

The contract between the two parties will be for an initial period of five years, with an option to extend it by two years subject to it going well.

Jacobs will offer the council expertise for any building programmes, such as new schools, as well as property survey work and professional design input.

A new report on the move says the deal avoids any "potential redundancy costs" that were in the offing had no interest been shown.

It also says it will "improve the long term employment prospects" for the staff transferred over, who will be able to access more clients.

The council says the potential savings made are impossible to quantify because the design unit charges fees for the work it completes, which varies year to year.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: "I'm delighted we now have a preferred bidder on board - on we go with the process."

Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for transformation and commissioning, said: "We have a very good property services team which has supported this council for a very long time."

The contract is set to start from September.

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