Headlines: August 22nd, 2007



Southampton City Council has signed a deal with Capita, which the authority says will bring increased investment and help to modernise its key services. Hundreds of council staff will switch to working for the company and local people are likely to see changes quickly with an immediate revamp planned for Gateway, the council’s one stop shop for enquiries.

The City Councils says the ten-year partnership agreement is part of its overall vision to modernise and invest in its services. Under the contract, Capita will bring 25 million pounds to the city in the first three years, which will be used to update IT systems as well as to pay for improvements to Gateway.

In addition to running Gateway, Capita will deliver wider customer services and back office functions including IT, procurement, human resources and payroll work, property services, and processing of council tax and benefit claims. More than 650 council employees will move to Capita but will keep their membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Jeremy Moulton, the council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, said the agreement would mean the city benefiting from millions of pounds of investment into key services. “We will also save the taxpayer millions of pounds over the term of the contract; money which can be put back into front line services,” he said.

Work is due to begin at the Civic Centre in October and there are long term plans to relocate and develop an all-in one contact centre. Local people will get a chance to learn more about what is happening and put forward their own ideas for improvements with a customer consultation day planned to take place in the near future.