Bedfordshire County Council agreed a £267m Strategic Service-Delivery Partnership with HBS Business Services Group in June 2001 and transferred 550 staff to HBS. Bedfordshire UNISON commissioned the Centre for Public Services to undertake an evaluation of the Strategic Partnership. The study revealed that the partnership was in crisis and had failed to deliver many of the contractual commitments. The report – Strategic Partnership in Crisis – was published in April 2005 and highlighted how the strategic partnership was not delivering improved services or new jobs.
The following documents include: Strategic Partnership in Crisis report (2005), a Centre for Public Services presentation to Bedfordshire CC staff (2005), the Bedfordshire CC/HBS Business Services Termination Agreement (2005) and the original report by the Centre for Public Services for Bedfordshire CC UNISON in 2000 making the case against a strategic partnership. Plus the Bedfordshire CC formal response to the Centre for Public Services report for UNISON when they engaged the law firm Eversheds to prepare a response to our criticism that the County Council had failed its Best Value responsibilities. The response reflects a very narrow interpretation of the duties of Best Value and consultation.