Partnerships set to ease LA’s financial woes

Published On: March 30, 2021

Two new local authority joint venture partnerships are set to bring much-needed financial relief to the public purse.

Norse Group, the UK’s largest LATC, has added two new joint ventures to its market-leading portfolio, with the announcement of Alliance Norse and Rochford Norse Ltd.

The pioneer of local authority partnerships Norse Group, which is wholly owned by Norfolk County Council, has returned over £65m to its local authority partners over the last five years.

Justin Galliford, Norse Group CEO, said: “These new partnerships will provide significant cost benefits to the councils, firstly via efficiency savings, and secondly, by using Norse’s proven commercial experience to help generate vital additional funding through winning external contracts and developing new business streams. Local authorities are facing severe financial challenges; by growing and sharing profits we are able to return money to the public purse and maintain services.

The two new partnerships are:

– Alliance Norse, which has taken on the responsibility for housing repairs and maintenance, capital project and facilities management services across the two alliance councils, High Peak Borough Council and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council. The new joint venture company, co-owned by the two local authorities and Norse, has been set up to maintain the corporate estate and 4,000 tenanted homes. The agreement runs for an initial ten-year period, and involves the transfer of existing staff under TUPE regulations.

Councillor Paul Roberts, Leader of Staffordshire District Council, said: “Providing efficient and effective services is a priority for the Council. We constantly review how we deliver these services to ensure we’re providing the highest quality at the best value for money price.

– Rochford Norse. This partnership, co-owned by Rochford District Council and Norse, is an eight-year agreement to provide household waste and recycling collection and street cleansing services. It follows the end of the council’s contract with Suez.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Dave Sperring said: “We are delighted to be entering this new venture with Norse, which will provide a sustainable future for our District’s environmental services, both environmentally and financially.”

These joint ventures have been formed using the Teckal principle. In both cases, the councils own shares in the respective companies, enjoy board representation, and will receive a share of profits.

The Norse Group is the largest commercial Local Authority Trading Company in the UK, providing a wide range of facilities management, environmental services, care, and property services to the public and private sectors. The Group has established itself as the leading provider of partnerships with local authorities, with almost thirty such joint ventures across the UK.