Wiltshire

Public services back under council control in Swindon

Public services in Swindon are set to return to the control of the local authority after the company it set up to manage them proved unprofitable.

Since 2010, Swindon Commercial Services (SCS) has managed services such as waste collection, pothole repair and street cleaning for the local council.

The firm, however, has failed to win bids for public sector contracts and the council remains its only client.

SCS will now concentrate its services on renewable energy projects.

It is due to open a £7m plant to process household waste into fuel in November.

Swindon Borough Council's Mike Bawden said: "I believe it is prudent and sensible to refocus efforts on those areas where we believe there is potential for growth and bring other services back in house.

"I have no doubt that this will give us more flexibility to respond to the challenging financial environment we, like all councils, are facing while delivering quality public services at a local level."

The proposal, which has been approved by the authority's ruling cabinet, will be submitted for final approval by the council on 5 July.

A consultation period with relevant parties will take place shortly after.

The move will see the transfer of about 550 staff from the contractor to the council.

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