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Nottinghamshire County Council Place Select Committee to discuss review of catering and facilities services

Nottinghamshire County Council is set to consider a series of recommendations aimed at securing the best future for its Catering and Facilities Management Service.

A recent review undertaken by a cross-party group of councillors from the authority’s Place Select Committee has recommended that work should now move forward on identifying a new partner to help the council continue to deliver these services.

The service is made up of 1,900 members of staff who deliver a range of front-line services including school’s catering, cleaning, ground maintenance and landscaping, facilities management and County Enterprise Foods, which provides a hot meals delivery service to people’s homes as well as frozen meals to schools.

County Hall in West Bridgford, the headquarters of Nottinghamshire County Council.
County Hall in West Bridgford, the headquarters of Nottinghamshire County Council.

The review comes after a sustained period of financial pressures being driven by events such as the covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine — both of which have contributed to the price of food recently rising at its highest rate in 45 years.

Other recommendations from the review include recognising the significant social value of the service as well as the excellent work by staff within the service to provide a high-quality service across Nottinghamshire.

At its next meeting on May 22, the Place Select Committee will also consider the recommendations of ensuring that any future changes are supported by large scale staff engagement and that any changes to the future service delivery should enable the service to reach its full potential.

Mike Adams, chairman of the Place Select Committee, said: “We have looked at every angle of this service from the contribution of staff in providing a high-quality service right through to the financial challenges.

“As part of the review, we paid a visit to the County Enterprise Foods production centre in Worksop and the distribution centre in Rainworth as well as King Edwin Primary School in Edwinstowe.

“These visits gave us a really valuable opportunity to see how services are delivered and meet just some of the staff involved.

“In light of everything considered as part of our review, we recommend that securing a new delivery partner is the most positive way forward as we look towards the future.

“This option could pave the way for the development of new partnership arrangements which would offer a sustainable future for the services included in our current Catering and Facilities Management service.

“The view of the review group is that this option would be most beneficial to staff and customers as it would cause minimal disruption, maximise the full potential of the service and protect staff terms and conditions.

“We did of course consider other options such as leaving the service unchanged, exiting the market completely or outsourcing some or all of the service but we felt that these options did not present the same benefits as creating a new partnership with an external partner.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in the review and look forward to seeing how these recommendations can evolve to ultimately secure the best possible future for such a vital service in Nottinghamshire.”

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