Unity Partnership could be axed as council plans to bring essential services back in-house

Date published: 17 January 2022

Oldham Council's Cabinet are set to discuss the future of Unity Partnership at a meeting later this month, in which they are expected to confirm council services will be brought back under direct control.

Unity Partnership currently delivers a range of services to Oldham residents on behalf of the council - including the customer call centre, highways, revenues and benefits, ICT and payroll and HR. It also provides a range services to other organisations and businesses.

Cabinet are set to agree bringing Unity Partnership delivered council services back to Oldham Council and move the 400 current Unity staff over to the council in Spring this year.

Unity Partnership was established in 2006, creating a model where council services were delivered in partnership and alongside services delivered to outside organisations and companies to 'ensure efficiency and deliver income into the Partnership'.

In February 2018, following a review of the Partnership, Cabinet agreed to a reshaping of Unity Partnership to become wholly owned by Oldham Council.
Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, said: "Unity Partnership delivers some of the services that matter most to local people. They answer calls to those in need through our call centre, manage our council tax and benefits services and the management of our highways service.

"I’ve committed to improving the relationship between residents and the council and I believe that bringing these services back into direct council management is vital in making this happen.
"Bringing Unity staff with their skills and knowledge into the council to work side-by-side with their council counterparts will make us more efficient and more focused on residents as well as driving greater value for money for the local taxpayer.”

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