Picture of Simon Howick, managing director at Oxford Direct Services

Oxford Direct Services sets £10.4m target over next four years

Published:  19 April, 2018

Oxford Direct Services – the commercial division of Oxford City Council – plans to deliver £10.4m in value back to the council over the next four years which can be put towards council services.

The goal is part of the organisation’s plan to grow its commercial services business while improving the efficiency of services provided for the council.

To achieve this return, Oxford Direct Services plans to expand its contracts with commercial business and organisations, offering a range of services including building, highways & engineering, commercial waste, Large Goods Vehicle and MOT testing, vehicle repairs, landscaping, grounds maintenance and pest control.

Two wholly-owned Local Authority Trading Companies have been set up and began operating in April: Oxford Direct Services Limited will primarily serve Oxford City Council while Oxford Direct Services Trading Limited will provide commercial work.

More than 700 frontline council services staff have transferred to the new organisations. Oxford City Council remains the shareholding owner of the organisations and the services it provided have been seamlessly transferred to Oxford Direct Services.

Oxford Direct Services was set-up in 2012 as part of an innovative change programme in the face of funding cuts from central government. To date, it has returned £4.7m to the council in the form of cost savings and returns from delivering commercial activities.

Simon Howick, managing director at Oxford Direct Services, said: ‘Everyone in the team is very proud of the improvement in council services and efficiencies we have delivered as Oxford Direct Services and the financial contribution we have made to date through our commercial services.

‘For those residents and organisations where we deliver council services, very little will change. The city council remains our single, largest customer and we will continue to strive to improve our services and efficiencies.

‘However, under the new structure, we will also be able to maximise the commercial opportunity by offering our expertise to a wider range of organisations – delivering even more revenue back to the council to spend on community services.’

Tim Sadler, chairman of Oxford Direct Services, said: ‘The new structure will allow Oxford Direct Services to thrive for the good of the community.

‘It will allow the organisation to continue to grow its financial contributions to the council, continue to keep the costs of council service delivery down and provide additional, good quality job opportunities and apprenticeships over the coming years.’

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