19 March 2021
Rushed Preparation at City Hall Criticised by Greens
Norwich's Green councillors have once again spoken out against a lack of planning and preparedness by the city council as it regains direct control of some of its most public-facing services on 1st April. The council made a decision to end a joint venture it has had with Norse to provide street cleaning and grounds maintenance as long ago as July 2018. However, with only two weeks to go until the council regains full responsibility for looking after the city's streets and parks, arrangements with the workforce have not been finalised.
Councillor Jamie Osborn commented:
"Green councillors have been warning the council for the last two and a half years that timely, detailed preparation is vital if good services are going to be provided when the council takes full control of looking after parks and keeping our streets clean. Bringing services back in house should be an opportunity to improve services for the people of Norwich and offer better conditions for staff, and it is disappointing that services may actually fall short from 1st April. Earlier preparation and planning were needed and I have been consistently frustrated that the council didn't do more work on this earlier so that everything was in place by now."
Councillor Sandra Bogelein, Leader of the Green Group on Norwich City Council added:
"I was given information about the insourcing process at City Hall over the last year and I was shocked by the lack of planning and preparedness at that time. The process was clearly started too late and, therefore, very rushed. Greens repeatedly expressed how frustrating it was that so much time was being wasted. These plans would surely have benefitted from using the time available better and having a clearer road map for integrating Norse employees into the council, with all the benefits that should come with this. I would have expected arrangements to be wrapped up by now, especially if the delivery of these services is not going to be achieved in the transformative, improved way suggested by Green councillors."
Norwich City Council will deliver more of its own services, via a company called Norwich City Services, from 1st April. These services are currently provided by Norwich Norse Environmental and Norwich Norse Building through a joint venture arrangement between Norwich City Council and Norse.
Further information from:
Councillor Jamie Osborn firstname.lastname@example.org