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Consultants to help council ‘save £6m’

Capita's office on Cutlers' Gate beside the Parkway in Sheffield.
Capita's office on Cutlers' Gate beside the Parkway in Sheffield.

Cash-strapped Sheffield City Council has expanded its contract with outsourcing giant Capita in a bid to save money.

The authority wants Capita’s consultants to help improve services and identify savings in areas including parking, planning and building control, environmental services and regulatory services.

A spokeswoman for Capita Local Public Services said the partnership was expected to deliver savings of about £6m.

Figures show the authority has spent £231m with Capita since 2011. The firm rents a giant office block on Cutlers’ Gate beside the Parkway.

In the 10 years to 2022 Sheffield City Council will have had £435m cut from its budget.

Under the newly-announced partnership Capita said it would give advice to council officers on initiatives such as reducing congestion and installing bus lane cameras to improve traffic flow. It will also act as consultant on modernising pay and display machines to allow contactless and app payments.

Paul Abraham, partnership director for Sheffield, Capita Local Public Services, said: “We are excited to be working alongside Sheffield City Council helping them transform the services they provide for their residents, businesses and visitors. The programme we have in place is an innovative partnership that will enhance these services, making them better, quicker, more affordable and easier to interact with.

“Our experience in delivering place services in local authorities along with Sheffield City Council’s determination to provide the best possible service makes this an exciting time for those who live, work and play in the area.”

Mick Crofts, director of business strategy and regulation for Sheffield City Council, said: “We are committed to providing services for our residents and businesses that meet the needs of the people of Sheffield and encourage investment into our city. We believe we have a truly exciting proposition and by working alongside Capita, we can transform key place services continue to improve the high-quality services that can quickly respond to the needs of our community.”

A council spokesman added: “This is not an extra contract but the continuation of our existing one with Capita. It has agreed to provide support to help us deliver consultancy to identify service improvements. This will actually support changes we are making internally to improve services and make savings where possible.

“The people we are working alongside have skills and expertise such as business analysts or solution consultants which will help us be more cohesive and smarter.”