Two councils in Derbyshire and Staffordshire have joined forces in a strategic alliance in order to save £3 million on their combined purchasing arrangements, following a partnership with Northgate Public Services to update their procurement activities.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and High Peak Borough Council have already saved a total of £620,000 a year and, with NPS’s help, expect to save £3 million over the next few years in procurement alone. The two councils are also looking at potential savings identified by NPS that could add further substantial savings and efficiencies.
The two councils have started a corporate-wide transformation programme, including a series of service reviews across most areas of the two councils. This follows a high-level review of service areas by Northgate and a period of significant restructuring.
This included a successful programme of improvement with High Peak’s housing service which saw substantial improvements in repairs, lettings and rent collections, leading to a 100 per cent improvement in productivity.
Andrew Stokes, executive director and chief finance officer at the two councils, said, “Northgate is very confident that our residents will benefit from the significant service improvements we make and, in line with its commercial model, the company has committed to put its fees at risk if efficiencies are not achieved. It’s a win-win situation for both of us.”
Northgate helps Sandwell Council generate £1.8m
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council has generated £1.8 million in additional revenues after Northgate Public Services helped it to identify occupied properties through Northgate’s empty properties service.
The empty properties service review, which took 10 weeks, found around 230 properties (out of a total of 1,570) that were identified as occupied but had been categorised by the council as empty.
Using credit reference data, Northgate’s team managed the entire review process, including handling all customer contacts, system updates and, where required, carrying out physical property inspections.
To ensure value for money, NPS carries out its empty property reviews on a risk/reward pricing structure. This means that there are no up-front fees and payments are only made against properties confirmed as occupied.
Ian Hubball, revenues and benefits manager, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, said, “The NPS empty properties service was quick and easy to complete, and we only paid on delivery of results. This has helped to bring in £1.8 million of extra revenues for us.”
Joe Bradley, executive director, Northgate Public Services, said, “With an average of £8,700 to be gained from each property brought back into use, councils can gain substantial income by reviewing their empty properties. As well as increasing the amount of council tax revenue raised and improving the accuracy of council tax records, it also helps to reduce fraud.”