A partnership of Cheshire councils are spinning of their shared ICT, HR and finance services as a commercial company called CoSocius.
The business, jointly owned by Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East councils, hopes to deliver these services to a range of customers, mainly in the public sector.
The three councils have operated these services as a partnership arrangement since 2009. In 2011, a performance report by the councils revealed that their shared ICT service had overspent by £2.45 million, putting numerous jobs at risk.
By operating as a legally separate entity from the council, CoSocius will have more freedom to trade and operate commercially.
“As shareholders, both councils will seek maximum value for money from the company to ultimately benefit local taxpayers,” the company says on its website.
CoSocius has been officially operating in “shadow” mode since 1 October 2013, and staff and assets are in the process of being transferred so that the business is up and running by 1 April.