21 January 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Councillors from Havant in Hampshire have unanimously agreed to form a joint venture company (JVC) with Norse Commercial Services.
Norse South East will be a partnership between Havant Borough Council and the commercial business to provide operational services to residents and customers. This includes front line services, such as household waste collections, open space maintenance, vehicle maintenance, street cleaning, public convenience cleaning and engineering works.
In addition to providing current services, the locally managed company will explore selling additional services to other businesses and local authorities in the region. This may include new services for customers, such as trade waste, transport and catering.
The profits of this will be shared 50/50 between Havant Borough Council and Norse.
The JVC will be set up on a 10-year contract in the first instance, starting in April 2016 when contracts are signed.
During this time all profits generated will be shared evenly between the council and the business partner.
A new source of income would then be available to the council to provide services to customers and to help address the estimated £1.8 million annual budget deficit it faces over the next five years.
All council staff from operational services will transfer over to the JVC, securing local employment in providing local services.
Councillor Tony Briggs, cabinet lead for environment and neighbourhood quality, said: "The forming of this joint venture company will mean that Havant Borough Council's operational services will become Norse South East. To our residents it will be simply a new name, with the same service, however, it will allow us to generate additional income to support the future work of the council."
A Norse spokesman confirmed that Norse had "around 15 similar joint ventures" with other local authorities, but added that "this is the first on the South Coast".
Havant Borough Council is also one of the local authorities involved in a £31million deal over nine years with Vinci Facilities but a council spokeswoman said the joint venture with Norse "is in no way related to the five council's project".