COUNCIL: Inevitable failure to meet expectations

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South Holland District Council Deputy Leader Coun Przyslak uses selective memory in order to ‘blue-sky’ the reality that most of the council owned Compass Point Business Services dubious cost savings have come on the backs of the dozens of council workers that were forced into involuntary redundancy brought about by these supposed efficiency improvements.

Compass Point Business Services is owned by South Holland and East Lindsey councils.

The company was intended to be the role-model of leading-edge local authority efficiency by subcontracting many council administrative functions to this newly created, quasi private company and then reaping in the resulting savings.

In order for Compass Point to be successful, the company has to capitalise on the theoretical efficiencies of scale, meaning the need for multiple councils to participate in the scheme.

However, Boston Borough Council, an original partner, withdrew early on before the company even opened for business.

And, as I understand the situation, despite aggressive promotion, Compass Point has not been able to attract a single additional local authority as a customer and is therefore operating with only the two original partners at minimal efficiency.

In addition, Compass Point was created at a large capital cost investment.

This cost was intended to be amortised over multiple local authority customers.

Without such partners, the investment will take years to recover, even if the supposed efficiency savings actually materialise.

All this is hardly good strategic, long term management and is yet another example of small local councils dabbling in vanity business projects where they have minimal expertise.

The result, as with the now infamous SHDC, Red Lion Quarter project fiasco, an inevitable failure to meet those ‘blue-sky’ expectations.

Jo Larrington

Spalding