Monday, 29 September 2014

Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils... part four... IT services and "Another fat little privatisation through the back door approaching?"

The conflation of the issues of East Devon District Council relocating to Skypark and helping with the expansion of Exeter seem more and more evident...
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils... part three: Skypark and "the full economic potential of Exeter"

Is the long-term intention idea the 'integration' of neighbouring District Councils?

Moreover, as the comment below suggests, there might be longer-term issues around the integrity of local government:


And he says it will make it easier for officers to deal with “clients”:


One thought on ““Greater Exeter” initiatives continue – EDDC “driving force” says Diviani”

Rory Jones says:

September 29, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Another fat little privatisation through the back door approaching.

Set it up, nice long contract, sell it off, and suddenly East Devon employees will be working for the Chinese.

If you want to be the mastermind for this shabby little enterprise, the job’s in the Guardian this week. http://jobs.theguardian.com/job/4958285/chief-operating-officer/

“Greater Exeter” initiatives continue – EDDC “driving force” says Diviani | East Devon Alliance 

This report from the Exeter Express & Echo highlights the notion that this project 'could pave the way for closer links between the three councils in the future'...

Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge councils to approve ICT merger paving the way for closer links in the future

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: September 28, 2014

EDDC HQ in Sidmouth

East Devon District Council Cabinet members are due to approve the next stage of plans for the implementation of a shared computer network system with Exeter City and Teignbridge District councils, which could save the councils millions of pounds.

As previously reported by the Echo in November, East Devon’s cabinet agreed in principle to the creation of a shared Information and Communications Technology (ICT) service with the neighbouring authorities which executive members backed in December.

The collaboration could pave the way for closer links between the three councils in the future. The idea was first mooted by East Devon as a way of making services more efficient in light of ongoing financial pressures on local authorities.

As part of the proposals, a joint executive committee will be set up to govern the company which will deliver the services, Strata Service Solutions Ltd, and a joint scrutiny committee to scrutinise the company. Strata will be wholly-owned and controlled equally by the three councils and resourced from existing ICT staff to ensure vital experience and expertise is retained. It will also include the building of a single new data centre in Exeter to supply ICT services to all partners.

Set up costs of around £2.2m, £970,000 of which was covered by a Government grant. The resource is expected to facilitate savings of £8.3m over the course of the next five years.

Councillor Paul Diviani, leader of East Devon District Council, who has been a driving force behind the initiative, previously said the council was also looking into how other services could be combined.

There will be no redundancies under the proposals.

Councillor Phil Twiss, cabinet member for corporate services, explained some of the practical implications an improved, shared ICT service will have. He said it would facilitate mobile working of council employees, for example, certain officers may be able to travel to a client instead of the client travelling to the offices.

Software will also be shared. And instead of data being hosted and stored locally, it will be stored remotely. The improved system will also improve conditions for staff as well as reduce the authorities’ carbon footprints and save energy.

Cllr Twiss, added: “Fundamentally, it’s about providing a more efficient service to the tax payer, it’s not so much about saving money but that is a bonus because it will save money that can go back into the coffers and spent elsewhere.”

Similar discussions are due to be had by Exeter City Council and Teignbridge District Council with Exeter's full council due to approve the arrangements at the meeting on October 15.

Exeter, East Devon and Teignbridge councils to approve ICT merger paving the way for closer links in the future | Exeter Express and Echo 

From the Guardian jobs pages:

Chief Operating Officer

This is a unique role offering you the opportunity to shape the future of service delivery across three councils in Devon through business critical IT systems. You will deliver transformational strategic and operational solutions to build a modern, resilient and cost-effective IT infrastructure.

About the role

Exeter, Teignbridge and East Devon Councils have come together to form a shared IT service, delivered through a wholly owned company called Strata Service Solutions Ltd. Each council will have an equal say in the direction and management of the company, formed in order to deliver cost savings and resilience through team and systems convergence. In fact, this ambitious collaboration aims to save more than £6 million over the next decade.

An inspirational leader, you will drive the strategy for Strata, setting a direction that ensures we achieve the best value and most efficient operation possible. Motivating a team of 70 people based across three locations, you will develop a positive and results-driven culture. Delivering a solid return on investment, you will be accountable for the company’s bottom line, so you will need good budgetary management skills as your role will include regular financial reporting. By maintaining strong working relationships with key internal and external stakeholders and partners, you will ensure we deliver long-term value from our IT solutions. It is an exciting time for everyone here as we look to significantly improve our IT capability, and you will thrive on managing and driving these changes, which will ultimately see us transform the way all three councils operate.

You could be based in any one of our three council offices, but will need to be happy to travel between all of them regularly.

About you

Along a degree in a business-related subject (or equivalent experience), you’re a proven leader of a significant IT function and are looking for a new challenge to test your operational and managerial skills. You should also have a thorough understanding of the complexities of local government. With significant understanding of, and practical experience in, managing and improving IT systems, you are confident in providing strategic direction. You have a solid track record in delivering complex systems over multiple sites. Adept at managing resources in the context of increasing business demands and rising customer expectations, you are decisive and results-orientated. As well as first-class communication and stakeholder management skills, you have the charisma and ability to influence everyone around you.

About us

Strata Service Solutions Ltd is a company limited by shares and wholly owned by Exeter, Teignbridge and East Devon Councils. This is a brand new company formed specifically as a vehicle to deliver IT services to the three partner councils. On 12th September 2014, Strata received a welcome boost of £970,000 as part of the government’s £9 million Transformation Challenge Award. The funds will greatly support Strata in its commitment to provide a managed IT service to improve services for residents and reduce costs across all three councils.

To apply

If you wish to discuss the vacancy in more detail please contact Simon Davey, Board Member for Strata on 01395 517490 or sdavey@eastdevon.gov.uk Further information can also be found on our website www.eastdevon.gov.uk

To apply, please send an up-to-date CV and covering letter by email to Simon Davey. Closing date for applications is midday, Friday 10 October 2014. Interviews will be 23 October 2014.

Chief Operating Officer jobs, Locations across Devon, £70,000-£75,000 per annum + relocation package | Guardian Jobs

More information:
Strata Service Solutions Ltd. - Open Company
Devon councils push ahead with shared service IT plan - Government Computing Network

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