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Key Council service to be transformed

Fresh ways to generate income, better use of buildings, and leading the way in developing a new generation of skilled workers are at the heart of a new vision for key council services in the years ahead.

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An in-depth review of frontline building management and maintenance services provided by the council has highlighted how its top-performing workforce is helping transform residents' lives.

And it's also outlined how the services which help maintain and improve council houses, schools, and other council buildings can be transformed to be leaner, smarter, and more efficient in the years ahead.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Cabinet member for Next Generation Services, said the authority's award winning Corporate Building and Property Services (CBPS) plays a vital role in local communities and has a high satisfaction rate among its users, tenants and customers.

She said the root-and-branch commissioning review showed how it had what it takes to continue to make a transformational contribution to job creation, skills development, housing, and education across the city as an in-house service.

She said: "The CBPS employs hundreds of people and spends tens of millions of pounds to maintain and improve thousands of council homes, all of our schools and other properties across the city.

"It also provides vital training and skills development at a time when employers elsewhere are reducing their commitment to taking on trainees and apprentices in areas of expertise like plumbing, carpentry and electrical engineering.

"It also has the potential to be able to take on more of the Councils house building programme and development work and offer its services commercially to others."

She said another aspect of its work was to manage the council's property portfolio to make sure, for example, that buildings no longer needed were sold off and others are run as energy and cost-effectively as possible.

Cabinet Members will be looking at the future role and management of CBPS at its meeting on August 18 in the wake of the review, which also says the service has the potential to generate fresh income for the council and make savings.

The report recommends retaining the service in-house and the best way to do this would be by working with staff and trade unions to continue to build on current performance, cost effectiveness, and customer satisfaction and develop further potential to generate income, provide local employment and apprenticeships.

The commissioning review said the service has already made significant efficiency saving but would seek to make a further £1.4 million of savings in the next three years by measures to maximise income, increase commercialism, flexible use of resources and improved technology.

Commissioning reviews have been taking place across the council over the last 18 months and they're designed to help ensure services are smarter, leaner, more efficient and responsive to customer needs and expectations.

They form part of Sustainable Swansea - Fit for the Future, the council's service transformation programme.

The CBPS commissioning review process has been going on inside the council for a number of months and it has included wide consultation with staff, with trade unions and with partner organisations.

If the recommendations outlined in the commissioning reviews for CBPS are approved further discussions with staff and trade unions will take place as the changes are implemented.

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