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We've completed the transfer of key services

Published: 2 September 2020

Our cleaning, caretaking and property design services have successfully been transferred to new joint venture companies.

Cleaning and caretaking services, and the employees who work in this area, transferred to Vertas Derbyshire Limited on 1 September 2020, with property design services transferring to Concertus Derbyshire Limited on the same date.

Part of our enterprising council approach, these services will work in a commercial way, delivering improved value for money while continuing to operate by companies wholly owned by the public sector.

Councillor Angelique Foster, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said:

“I’m pleased to see that these services have successfully transferred to the new joint venture companies.

“This is a key part of our enterprising council approach, and will offer a much better future for these services, and best value for money for council tax payers.

“After considering all our options last year we set up joint venture companies with Suffolk County Council as they have a strong track record with both facilities management and property design services. All decisions will be made by both parties, and any profits made will be jointly shared.

“Transferring these services to commercial companies which are wholly owned by the public sector is the best possible option for these services which provide vital support directly to the council as well as to a range of other organisations, including Derbyshire schools.

“By moving these services to the joint ventures they will be able to work more commercially and have the freedom to find new business locally and move further afield bringing financial benefits to the council as an equal partner in each of the joint ventures.

“Employees will transfer over to the new companies with their employment rights protected, and most of them will be carrying out the same job in the same place.”

Vertas have a strong track record of providing cleaning and caretaking services for schools, and this includes the extra measures put in place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Concertus holds the ‘Best Employer’ title in the Eastern Region. They are recognised by multiple organisations such as The Institute of Customer Service and Investors in People for their people-focussed approach to running the business - always looking after and putting their employees first. This approach led to them gaining recognition as ‘Gold Employer’ for Investors in People and ‘Silver’ for their investment in employee wellbeing.

Ian Surtees, Chief Executive Officer of Vertas Group Limited said:

“Vertas has an excellent track record of transferring colleagues into the group from the public sector and my team has been working hard for over a year to ensure each and every one has a smooth transition.

“Our new colleagues will retain their existing terms and conditions and benefit from all that Vertas offers in terms of learning and development, innovative practices, all within the supportive Vertas family culture.

“We are looking forward to meeting our new clients across Derbyshire and introducing our approach of ‘customer at the heart’, combined with our award-winning health and safety strategy which saw us achieve RoSPA Gold in 2019 and a highly coveted RoSPA commendation within the Facilities Management sector this year.”

Concertus’ Managing Director, Andrew Rowe, said:

“We are very excited to be welcoming our new colleagues into the Concertus family. We have kept in regular contact throughout the lockdown to ensure the transition is smooth and successful. This process will enable the Derbyshire County Council employees to start their journey with ease and begin delivering an exceptional service to clients. We look forward to working within Derbyshire.”

Around 940 employees transferred to the new companies, approximately 900 to Vertas Derbyshire Ltd and 40 to Concertus Derbyshire Ltd. Vertas will continue to work for more than 200 schools and to clean more than 200 other sites, including council offices, libraries, adult education sites, depots and children’s centres.