A new multi-million pound contract between Norse Commercial Services and Norwich City Council, which will secure the jobs of a local workforce and strengthen the bonds of a public sector partnership, came into effect on 1 March.
The £4.8 million per year contract to deliver environmental services such as building cleaning, street cleaning, sheltered housing cleaning, grounds maintenance, arboriculture, and pest control will be provided by a new company called Norwich Norse (Environmental).
“This joint venture approach between Norse and Norwich City Council is a partnership, with shared goals and agreed outcomes for mutual benefit,” said managing director of Norwich Norse, Graham Jermyn. “It represents real benefit for the residents and taxpayers of Norwich and will give the long-term services delivery stability, and employment security, that can be a problem with traditional supplier and contractor agreements. It's a business model that Norse has proven to represent best practice and value in an increasing number of similar arrangements that the company has with local councils around the UK.”
Councillor Alan Waters, Norwich City Council's deputy leader, said: “The decision to create a publicly owned joint venture is based on the need to strengthen and protect a number of key city council services. It will also provide security of employment for the staff transferring to the new organisation.”
Around 150 staff have transferred into the new company under TUPE arrangements.
Brian Rye, regional secretary of UCATT, said: “UCATT welcomes the initiative of Norwich City Council to establish the partnership of Norwich Norse and supports the delivery of public services in Norwich through this joint venture. We it believe will help to end fears and uncertainty over job security which our members have endured for over two years.”
Photo shows, from left to right: Peter Hawes, MD of Norse Commercial Services, with Councillor Alan Walters at the launch of Norwich Norse.