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Capita to run Barnet's planning services

Barnet Council has chosen Capita as its preferred partner for a £154milion contract to run its strategic planning and regeneration services

According to the AJ’s sister publication LGC, the move will put the company in charge of both of the key contracts at the centre of the flagship One Barnet initiative, the controversial ‘commissioning council’ programme under which large areas of the council’s work are to be outsourced.

It means the company will receive about 15 per cent of Barnet’s total expenditure.

Capita was announced as the winner of the other major contract, a £320million deal to run its payroll, finance and human resources, in December.

Under the new contract, which will be put to the council’s cabinet on 24 June, Capita would form a joint venture with the council to run its “development and regulatory services”. These includes: 

  • Strategic planning
  • Regeneration
  • Environmental health
  • Building control
  • Land charges
  • Highways services
  • Trading standards
  • Licensing
  • Cemetery and crematorium services

The announcement follows a High Court victory for Barnet Council last month. Campaigners behind the legal challenge claimed the One Barnet programme would result in job losses and hit vulnerable residents as services were scaled back.

But Lord Justice Underhill ruled in favour of the council.

A council spokesman said he was confident that both contracts would go ahead despite the fact that Maria Nash, the resident behind the legal challenge, had sought leave to appeal.

He said no final contracts would be signed before the legal process was over, but that Barnet wanted to make sure the contracts had been fully approved by the council and had completed the EU procurement process so that they were ready to sign as soon as the legal green light was received.

This would allow the services to be transferred to Capita within two weeks of the legal process ending, he said.

Barnet aims to start the £320m back-office services contract on July 1 and the £154m development and regulatory services contract this autumn.

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