Cheshire East Council takes a major step towards its ambition of becoming a strategic commissioning council this week with the launch of a series of arm’s length companies running key Council services.
Waste and streetscene services will in future be operated by a company called Ansa, while bereavement services will be managed by Orbitas. Both are wholly-owned by Cheshire East, but will be run on a day-to-day basis by their own boards and managements.
Council Leader Michael Jones explained: “We’re taking the financial challenge head-on. We’re working with trade unions and staff to provide a new way of running a council, unleashing innovation and entrepreneurialism, managing costs and improving our offer to customers and service users.
“In future, no two councils will look exactly the same and seeking out new, innovative ways of providing services is now an essential feature of local government.”
He added: “Rather than moan and complain about budgets going down, councils need to innovate.
“This is certainly our view as we embark on our Cheshire East revolution – putting residents’ first”, he said.
The launch of Ansa and Orbitas is just the first phase of the Council’s strategy.
Cheshire East is already a partner in a shared back office services company with neighbouring Cheshire West and Chester called CoSocius, running the two authorities’ HR, finance and ICT support.
Last year, it also established a development company, East Cheshire Engine of the North, to maximise value from the council’s land and property estate.
Next month, the Council’s leisure services will relaunch as an independent trust called ‘Everybody Sport and Recreation Ltd’.
Then in July the Council is planning to launch a new ASDV covering its public transport responsibilities.