Somerset County Council statement on legal dispute with Southwest One

County Hall

County Hall

First published in News

Somerset County Council has issued a statement after it emerged the authority is being taken to court by Southwest One.

The public-private partnership was announced in 2007 with the aim of saving the authority millions of pounds.

The dispute has arisen because the council and Southwest One disagrees on the amount of savings made so far – and therefore how much Southwest One is owed.

The council’s statement reads: “We are in disagreement with Southwest One about the quality of the procurement service and what payments Southwest One is entitled to as a result of savings made by getting better deals through the joint venture.

“As set out in the terms of the contract, we had hoped we would be able to settle this issue through mediation and negotiation. It is now apparent that this will not be possible and it is disappointing that we are in the position of going to court.

“It is paramount that we look after the best interests of tax payers and take action when standards of performance and quality are not being met.

“We will therefore robustly defend our position and make counter-claims where we believe we have suffered losses.

“Somerset County Council will not be commenting any further on this issue at this stage.”

Comments (11)

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3:52pm Wed 5 Sep 12

Mi_Coc says...

What has happen is the SCC bigwigs arent happy with the deal they are getting (IE bribes) so they are not signing anymore cheques for Southwest One.

This deal was crooked from the start and those involved in the negotiations made alot of money at the expense of the tax payer. This will end in tears for SCC as they will lose at court I fear.
What has happen is the SCC bigwigs arent happy with the deal they are getting (IE bribes) so they are not signing anymore cheques for Southwest One. This deal was crooked from the start and those involved in the negotiations made alot of money at the expense of the tax payer. This will end in tears for SCC as they will lose at court I fear. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

4:04pm Wed 5 Sep 12

FreeSpeech? says...

Those in charge at the time of negotiating this contract and that includes the solicitors and advisor's should be sacked and banned from working for SCC again as they were warned from day one it would not work.
Either gross incompetency, corruption or maybe both.
Those in charge at the time of negotiating this contract and that includes the solicitors and advisor's should be sacked and banned from working for SCC again as they were warned from day one it would not work. Either gross incompetency, corruption or maybe both. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Wed 5 Sep 12

TauntonSocialistParty says...

FreeSpeech? wrote:
Those in charge at the time of negotiating this contract and that includes the solicitors and advisor's should be sacked and banned from working for SCC again as they were warned from day one it would not work.
Either gross incompetency, corruption or maybe both.
Erm.. you're both correct in your observations regarding the 'crooked' nature of this whole rotten fiasco.

Some senior Somerset County Council (SCC) officers even pursued the Somerset Unison branch secretary at the time, in order to try and intimidate him and stop him from his brave and determined efforts to reveal the corrupt nature of the whole process.

Whenever a question was posed to Somerset County Council, they refused to answer, choosing instead to hide behind the impenetrable curtain of 'Commercial Confidentiality'.

Does anyone remember Allan Jones, the Chief Architect of this lamentable catastrophe known as South West One...He, like many of his cabal of unelected unaccountable proponents of privatisation of public services have long since flown the 'scene of the crime'...along with their multi-million £ pension pots!

Allan Jones wanted to be remembered by the people of Somerset...well he certainly achieved his wish, although not for the reason he often cited, as he is reviled throughout Somerset and beyond...Like the Mad hatter character from Alice in Wonderland he repeatededly made the absurdly ludicrous claim that he was going to "take Somerset beyond excellence".

His real legacy however is somewhat different: for many years now, working people of Somerset have been scratching their heads wondering where this journey to 'Beyond Excellence' will lead...it now transpires that it is likely that the final destination to 'Beyond Excellence' is the Law Courts, before the seemingly inevitable dirty expensive and adversarial divorce proceedings that will most probably follow.

South west One workers, SCC workers, trade union members, Council Tax payers and all service users will be justly concerned at this recent development.

By going head to head in Court, It is perhaps ironic that the people of Somerset may find out more about how this deal between Somerset County Council and IBM was carved up, than the so called 'democratic process' which was and remains as transparent as proverbial mud.

Check this video out....
http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?NR=1&v=jkab
cE6xGWE&feature=ends
creen
[quote][p][bold]FreeSpeech?[/bold] wrote: Those in charge at the time of negotiating this contract and that includes the solicitors and advisor's should be sacked and banned from working for SCC again as they were warned from day one it would not work. Either gross incompetency, corruption or maybe both.[/p][/quote]Erm.. you're both correct in your observations regarding the 'crooked' nature of this whole rotten fiasco. Some senior Somerset County Council (SCC) officers even pursued the Somerset Unison branch secretary at the time, in order to try and intimidate him and stop him from his brave and determined efforts to reveal the corrupt nature of the whole process. Whenever a question was posed to Somerset County Council, they refused to answer, choosing instead to hide behind the impenetrable curtain of 'Commercial Confidentiality'. Does anyone remember Allan Jones, the Chief Architect of this lamentable catastrophe known as South West One...He, like many of his cabal of unelected unaccountable proponents of privatisation of public services have long since flown the 'scene of the crime'...along with their multi-million £ pension pots! Allan Jones wanted to be remembered by the people of Somerset...well he certainly achieved his wish, although not for the reason he often cited, as he is reviled throughout Somerset and beyond...Like the Mad hatter character from Alice in Wonderland he repeatededly made the absurdly ludicrous claim that he was going to "take Somerset beyond excellence". His real legacy however is somewhat different: for many years now, working people of Somerset have been scratching their heads wondering where this journey to 'Beyond Excellence' will lead...it now transpires that it is likely that the final destination to 'Beyond Excellence' is the Law Courts, before the seemingly inevitable dirty expensive and adversarial divorce proceedings that will most probably follow. South west One workers, SCC workers, trade union members, Council Tax payers and all service users will be justly concerned at this recent development. By going head to head in Court, It is perhaps ironic that the people of Somerset may find out more about how this deal between Somerset County Council and IBM was carved up, than the so called 'democratic process' which was and remains as transparent as proverbial mud. Check this video out.... http://www.youtube.c om/watch?NR=1&v=jkab cE6xGWE&feature=ends creen TauntonSocialistParty
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Wed 5 Sep 12

blackmasquerade says...

TauntonSocialistPart
y - I had a 'go' at you the other day on another story for spouting your political msg, not to mention this being of no direct relevance to the story in question. That said, & while I may not agree with your political views, the above points seem both valid & are well made
TauntonSocialistPart y - I had a 'go' at you the other day on another story for spouting your political msg, not to mention this being of no direct relevance to the story in question. That said, & while I may not agree with your political views, the above points seem both valid & are well made blackmasquerade
  • Score: 0

6:39pm Wed 5 Sep 12

Samej1 says...

I agree with blackmasquerade - TSP when you post heartfelt prose rather than the mountains of cut'n'paste (that I doubt anyone reads) you come across far better, even if I also disagree with a lot of your views.
I agree with blackmasquerade - TSP when you post heartfelt prose rather than the mountains of cut'n'paste (that I doubt anyone reads) you come across far better, even if I also disagree with a lot of your views. Samej1
  • Score: 0

12:50am Thu 6 Sep 12

I Hate CSC says...

"take action when standards of performance and quality are not being met"? Better start getting rid of all the childrens social care managers then as none of them seem fit for purpose, just child abusers under a different name.
"take action when standards of performance and quality are not being met"? Better start getting rid of all the childrens social care managers then as none of them seem fit for purpose, just child abusers under a different name. I Hate CSC
  • Score: 0

8:53am Thu 6 Sep 12

Tell_it_as_it_is says...

Comment copied from another blog:

I suspect IBM will win legals, as they are better at writing contracts than Councils and Police and can afford to employ “World Class” lawyers!

Did big frontloaded 27% Government cuts to Councils in 2011 lower spend and then trigger a contract compensation clause?

Why didn’t this silly (ex Council Chief Executive) Alan Jones-led “Beyond Excellence” contract model for contraction, as well as expansion?

Lesson: Predicting 10 years out in complex public services and writing a watertight yet flexible contract is IMPOSSIBLE!

To complain to former Chief Exec Alan Jones who setup SW1 in 2007 and left the Council in 2009 with £340K and £80k pension, then contact him at his new business (from Morebath in Devon) using web details published here:

http://www.future-co
mmunities.co.uk/cont
act-2/
Comment copied from another blog: I suspect IBM will win legals, as they are better at writing contracts than Councils and Police and can afford to employ “World Class” lawyers! Did big frontloaded 27% Government cuts to Councils in 2011 lower spend and then trigger a contract compensation clause? Why didn’t this silly (ex Council Chief Executive) Alan Jones-led “Beyond Excellence” contract model for contraction, as well as expansion? Lesson: Predicting 10 years out in complex public services and writing a watertight yet flexible contract is IMPOSSIBLE! To complain to former Chief Exec Alan Jones who setup SW1 in 2007 and left the Council in 2009 with £340K and £80k pension, then contact him at his new business (from Morebath in Devon) using web details published here: http://www.future-co mmunities.co.uk/cont act-2/ Tell_it_as_it_is
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Thu 6 Sep 12

Tell_it_as_it_is says...

Read all about it here:

http://www.liddellgr
ainger.org.uk/ian/MO
GGTHEBLOG2012.html
Read all about it here: http://www.liddellgr ainger.org.uk/ian/MO GGTHEBLOG2012.html Tell_it_as_it_is
  • Score: 0

7:26pm Thu 6 Sep 12

Tell_it_as_it_is says...

Councillor David Huxtable said Southwest One was stopping the council making cuts or privatising services because it refused to give up its claim for fees on services the council discontinued.

"Every part of our organisation has a part of Southwest One appended to it, whether it is buying financial services, property advice or whatever. But local authorities can't afford to do all this stuff they used to do. So if we, for instance, shut down a department, or if we privatised school meals - the Southwest One overhead cannot be removed, so we are still paying a Southwest One overhead on something we haven't done for almost two years," said Huxtable.

"Pretty much everything we want to change now, we are almost precluded from doing because we will be carrying this overhead forever - unless we can renegotiate parts of this contract."

http://www.computerw
eekly.com/news/22401
62786/Southwest-One-
is-blocking-Somerset
-cuts-says-county-co
uncillor

BUT....who unswervingly supported the contract with IBM for SW1 in 2007/08 as the Chair of the key Audit Committee?

That would be.....David Huxtable!

Other key supporters in 2007/08:

Jill Shortland Lib Dem Leader.
Sam Crabb Lib Dem Resources Portfolio Holder
Andrew Govier Labour Chair of Scrutiny Committee.
Councillor David Huxtable said Southwest One was stopping the council making cuts or privatising services because it refused to give up its claim for fees on services the council discontinued. "Every part of our organisation has a part of Southwest One appended to it, whether it is buying financial services, property advice or whatever. But local authorities can't afford to do all this stuff they used to do. So if we, for instance, shut down a department, or if we privatised school meals - the Southwest One overhead cannot be removed, so we are still paying a Southwest One overhead on something we haven't done for almost two years," said Huxtable. "Pretty much everything we want to change now, we are almost precluded from doing because we will be carrying this overhead forever - unless we can renegotiate parts of this contract." http://www.computerw eekly.com/news/22401 62786/Southwest-One- is-blocking-Somerset -cuts-says-county-co uncillor BUT....who unswervingly supported the contract with IBM for SW1 in 2007/08 as the Chair of the key Audit Committee? That would be.....David Huxtable! Other key supporters in 2007/08: Jill Shortland Lib Dem Leader. Sam Crabb Lib Dem Resources Portfolio Holder Andrew Govier Labour Chair of Scrutiny Committee. Tell_it_as_it_is
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Thu 6 Sep 12

Tmtaun says...

This is unbelievable! SW1 have tried to claim they have created savings when in fact it has been all SCC ideas and redundancies and their own programme of cuts. Where are all the promised procurement savings? A laptop is more expensive through SW1 than at Comet! The solution to expensive printers was not to source them cheaper but to have less of them! Well worth paying for these genius ideas!
SCC had to make cuts due to funding cuts from central government - SW1 have not helped make any of these - in fact theyve just created an extra layer of bureacracy. Fight this all the way and lets hope it spells the end of this one sided joint venture company.
This is unbelievable! SW1 have tried to claim they have created savings when in fact it has been all SCC ideas and redundancies and their own programme of cuts. Where are all the promised procurement savings? A laptop is more expensive through SW1 than at Comet! The solution to expensive printers was not to source them cheaper but to have less of them! Well worth paying for these genius ideas! SCC had to make cuts due to funding cuts from central government - SW1 have not helped make any of these - in fact theyve just created an extra layer of bureacracy. Fight this all the way and lets hope it spells the end of this one sided joint venture company. Tmtaun
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Sat 8 Sep 12

Mi_Coc says...

Tell_it_as_it_is wrote:
Councillor David Huxtable said Southwest One was stopping the council making cuts or privatising services because it refused to give up its claim for fees on services the council discontinued.

"Every part of our organisation has a part of Southwest One appended to it, whether it is buying financial services, property advice or whatever. But local authorities can't afford to do all this stuff they used to do. So if we, for instance, shut down a department, or if we privatised school meals - the Southwest One overhead cannot be removed, so we are still paying a Southwest One overhead on something we haven't done for almost two years," said Huxtable.

"Pretty much everything we want to change now, we are almost precluded from doing because we will be carrying this overhead forever - unless we can renegotiate parts of this contract."

http://www.computerw

eekly.com/news/22401

62786/Southwest-One-

is-blocking-Somerset

-cuts-says-county-co

uncillor

BUT....who unswervingly supported the contract with IBM for SW1 in 2007/08 as the Chair of the key Audit Committee?

That would be.....David Huxtable!

Other key supporters in 2007/08:

Jill Shortland Lib Dem Leader.
Sam Crabb Lib Dem Resources Portfolio Holder
Andrew Govier Labour Chair of Scrutiny Committee.
I am told you can add Ross Henley to he list.

If they win I'm told TDBC will co scc although they will probably bring in a impartial consultant say Colin ports wife an chuck another 200k at her for her ver valuable advice.
[quote][p][bold]Tell_it_as_it_is[/bold] wrote: Councillor David Huxtable said Southwest One was stopping the council making cuts or privatising services because it refused to give up its claim for fees on services the council discontinued. "Every part of our organisation has a part of Southwest One appended to it, whether it is buying financial services, property advice or whatever. But local authorities can't afford to do all this stuff they used to do. So if we, for instance, shut down a department, or if we privatised school meals - the Southwest One overhead cannot be removed, so we are still paying a Southwest One overhead on something we haven't done for almost two years," said Huxtable. "Pretty much everything we want to change now, we are almost precluded from doing because we will be carrying this overhead forever - unless we can renegotiate parts of this contract." http://www.computerw eekly.com/news/22401 62786/Southwest-One- is-blocking-Somerset -cuts-says-county-co uncillor BUT....who unswervingly supported the contract with IBM for SW1 in 2007/08 as the Chair of the key Audit Committee? That would be.....David Huxtable! Other key supporters in 2007/08: Jill Shortland Lib Dem Leader. Sam Crabb Lib Dem Resources Portfolio Holder Andrew Govier Labour Chair of Scrutiny Committee.[/p][/quote]I am told you can add Ross Henley to he list. If they win I'm told TDBC will co scc although they will probably bring in a impartial consultant say Colin ports wife an chuck another 200k at her for her ver valuable advice. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

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