Council to create new trading company to deliver key services
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A district council is to establish their own "arms-length" business responsible for key services such as waste collection and street cleaning.
East Suffolk Council are to create a Local Authority Trading Company (LATCo), which will be separate to the council and will operate as a commercial business.
The move means the council will not renew its contract with Norse, who currently provide the services, which ends in July 2023.
Operational staff currently employed by East Suffolk Norse will be legally entitled to transfer to the new organisation on the same terms and conditions.
Councillor Steve Gallant, leader of the council, said: "Our aim is to provide the best quality services possible with the resources available, always seeking to deliver improvement that benefits council taxpayers.
"Since our formation in 2019, East Suffolk Council has been clear about its progressive ambitions for the district and the way it delivers the key services needed by our communities.
"This new trading company will allow us closer control of key services so we can maximise our support for, and investment in, our communities and local economy.
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"We will also explore the commercial potential of these particular services, so that we can deliver profit which will be invested straight back into our communities.
“And by keeping money closer to East Suffolk, this change will help deliver the council’s strategic aims.
"We believe this will help East Suffolk deliver environmental changes – such as new fuels, vehicles and approaches to waste management – that support our environmental ambitions.”
Mr Gallant also thanked East Suffolk Norse for their service.
He said: “The decisions we have taken are not a reflection on the service provided by East Suffolk Norse but are based on wider ambitions and always seeking best possible value for money.
"However, it goes without saying that our operational teams are hugely experienced and, as the most important asset of the business, we want the transition to be really smooth and straightforward."
Councillor Peter Byatt, leader of the council's Labour group, welcomed the decision.
He said it was an important move which the Labour group had been keen to see happen for some time and would offer the council the opportunity to review how it procures resources, delivers services and ensure value for money.