Welwyn Hatfield will profit from privatisation

SIR – I would like to inform Mr Selby, who wrote to you last week asking about profits from council tax, that after investigating all options, the most efficient way to generate savings on IT, council tax and benefits, the customer contact centre,

SIR - I would like to inform Mr Selby, who wrote to you last week asking about profits from council tax, that after investigating all options, the most efficient way to generate savings on IT, council tax and benefits, the customer contact centre, reception and switchboard services was by working in partnership with a private supplier.

Mr Selby has not taken into consideration the economies of scale involved in providing services (that is that costs fall as output increases).

Steria already works with many local authorities in providing services, so it already has networks and systems in place to provide this without increasing its revenue costs.

The council will be reducing its overheads and saving considerable expense to the taxpayer while guaranteeing that the quality of service remains.

I am convinced this partnership represents value for money for the taxpayers of Welwyn Hatfield, while securing the quality of service that residents already receive and deserve.

I would like to reassure Mr Selby that there are no plans to rename council tax and that it will still be paid to the council. In fact Welwyn Hatfield has not increased its council tax costs above inflation for the past three years. This has been achieved by identifying cost efficient savings like the partnership listed above.

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A copy of our annual report will be delivered to all households in the borough within the next two weeks which clearly shows where we spend the 14p in every pound we receive from council tax each year.

Finally, Steria is a public company, if Mr Selby would like to purchase any shares.

John Dean, leader of Welwyn

Hatfield Council.

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