COUNCILLORS have approved plans to bring in a private partner to manage property belonging to the county and the police.
Members of Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet agreed to put forward their business case to form a joint venture company with police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis.
The move would see the management of property worth £350 million moved into the new company along with up to 50 county council staff.
It is the brainchild of deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, resources and transformation Ian Parry and follows the formation of a similar company last year to manage education services which saw the authority take a 49 per cent stake in the company.
This time Mr Parry says the council is likely to retain the majority share.
“It’s likely the county council will be the majority shareholder in this case.
"We want to have much more of a say and more control.
“There are about 40 to 50 people who will be affected by this. They will probably become part of a larger organisation.
“I met them last week and assured them this was about improving and increasing what we do with property.
"This isn’t a reduction in property management, this is an increase. I don’t envisage any redundancies.
"I would have thought this offers greater opportunity for employment in the future.”
Steve Elsey, branch secretary Staffordshire Unison, said: “It’s not really clear yet (what the effect will be on workers).
"It does look likely some staff might transfer out but there’s no detail yet.”
The authority has given Mr Parry delegated powers to draw up a shortlist of potential partners to tender.