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Bournemouth council given no notice as Mouchel boss quits "to boost his career"
THE man in charge of the outsourcing operation which took over the work of several Bournemouth council departments has quit the company.
Bournemouth councillors were given no notice that Tony Williams, partnership director for the Mouchel Group in Bournemouth, was leaving.
Around 480 council staff were transferred into Mouchel’s employment in deals worth around £180million to the company over 10 years.
The outsourcing was aimed at finding millions of pounds in efficiency savings.
Mouchel has since suffered a string of problems nationally, with the company going into administration in 2012 and being thrown a lifeline by a consortium of banks.
Councillors were told in an email that Mr Williams had “decided to move on from Mouchel”.
He had been deciding on his “future career aspirations” and believed it would be “less disruptive” to leave before Mouchel adopted a new operating model.
Council leader Cllr John Beesley said Mr Williams had headed the Bournemouth partnership for more than two years. “He wanted, as I understand it, to move on to other opportunities,” he said.
He said the partnership was still on course to help the council deliver at least £326m in savings and efficiencies by 2020/21.
Cllr Beesley sits on a transformation board which holds Mouchel’s performance to account.
He said the board regularly looked at “ways we can improve”.
“That can be quite challenging at times but you’d expect it to be,” he said.
“I’m quite demanding but I always have been of business partners, colleagues and anybody else I’m involved with. I don’t think the residents of Bournemouth would thank me if I wasn’t. I’m demanding but I hope at all times perfectly reasonable.”
Independent group leader Cllr Anne Rey – who called the outsourcing deal the “biggest mistake we’ve ever made” – wanted more information.
“I think there may be a question at council. We’re going to have to find out from the chief executive about it because it’s very sudden. Perhaps things aren’t as tickety-boo as people want to make out.”
Labour group leader Cllr Ben Grower said: “I think he’s probably decided to jump a sinking ship but I don’t know.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Carol Ainge said she was “sad” at the departure of several senior personnel at Mouchel.
Craig Apsey, Managing Director of Mouchel Business Services, said: "Mouchel is committed 100% to giving the best possible service to the people of Bournemouth. Interim arrangements are in place to ensure complete continuity of service and an announcement on the new leadership will be made in the near future once agreed with Bournemouth Borough Council."