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Burnley's One Connect deal on hold after county council probe
A DEAL to privatise Burnley Council’s revenue and benefits section has been put ‘on hold’ amid controversy over similar countywide arrangements.
Around 60 staff could be affected by plans to ‘outsource’ benefits work to One Connect, a proposed council partnership with telecoms giant BT.
But an investigation is currently underway into a fleet services deal between Lancashire County Council and One Connect, leaving the potential deal between Burnley and the outsourcing firm in limbo.
Thirty-one workers are already at risk of redundancy at the Burnley authority as part of a £1.5million savings programme for 2014-15.
A total of 18 posts will be deleted, of which four are currently vacant, leaving 14 workers to be selected for the chop, out of a pool of 31, saving an estimated £452,000.
Another £300,000 will be saved when a leisure trust is created, taking charge of the running of Burnley Mechanics and both St Peter’s and Padiham leisure centres.
The council’s own reserves will also shrink by £220,000, if councillors agree.
Council resources director Helen Seechum said: “We have focused our saving proposals to minimise the impact to frontline services. In addition we have had some success in business rate growth.”
Extra pressure is expected for 2015-16, when the council’s current ‘efficiency support grant’ commitment runs out.
An annual review has also been carried out for the borough’s fee and charges and no rises are proposed for off-street car parks, admission to Towneley Hall and borough golf courses.
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