Somerset council to bring back 160 outsourced staff

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Somerset County Council is to bring back 160 staff who were outsourced to the private firm, SouthWest One.

The company, which employs 650 ex-council staff, was set up in 2007 and carries out administrative and back office tasks for the local authority.

The decision was taken after a council review into the firm's performance concluded it was failing to perform.

Unions fear these 160 workers may be at risk, after 10 of the 12 staff who previously moved back lost their jobs.

'Worrying time'

A spokesman for SouthWest One said: "We can confirm Somerset County Council and Southwest One have concluded discussions regarding HR and finance services as part of the council's response to central government's cuts in local government funding.

"Further details can be found on the Somerset County Council website."

The county council has declined to comment over the move.

Liz French, regional organiser for the trade union Unison, said: "I have been raising issues with the council through Human Resources about what they're likely to do with the staff when they come back.

"They are saying at the moment there is no proposal to make them redundant but that doesn't mean to say they won't do that in the future, it's a very worrying time for them."

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