One of Birmingham City Council’s major contractors will relocate its Erdington printing operation putting up to 35 jobs at risk it has been revealed.
Capita Document and Information Services unit at Holly Lane, will move to Mansfield in October, sparking condemnation from the area’s MP Jack Dromey.
Up to 22 workers will be offered the chance to move to a new facility at Mansfield, while others could be offered positions elsewhere in Capita.
The Erdington unit carries out much of the printing, office support and publishing work for Capita-Service Birmingham – the city council’s support and IT services provider. Mr Dromey said: “ Capita has a chequered history in Birmingham to say the least, but it has a duty to stay in the city.
“It is wrong therefore that the company is relocating jobs that should stay in Erdington.”
The company announced last year that it had outgrown the Erdington site and was looking for new premises. But it was hoped the relocation would take place within the Birmingham area, not to the East Midlands.
A company spokeswoman said: “As our print production business has grown significantly and to meet client demand, we invested in a 90,000 sq ft state-of-the-art print production facility in Mansfield. We are proposing that print production work at Holly Lane in Birmingham relocates to this facility later this year.
“We are also proposing that employees at Complete Imaging’s Minworth site move to Holly Lane once it becomes available. Capita Document and Information Services is developing this Birmingham based business, which sells and leases hardware, such as printers, photocopiers and scanners.”
The relationship between the city council and Capita grew strained in recent years as the contract costs soared at the same time as the council was suffering from austerity cuts and making thousands of staff redundant. Councillors claimed the authority had been treated as a ‘cash cow’ by the contractor. In 2013, the latest year for the Service Birmingham contract earned Capita a £23 million taxpayer funded dividend. It also bought goods and services worth £36 million from other parts of the Capita group.
In response the council negotiated a £20 million cut in the contract and took the Service Birmingham call centre in-house . With the deal not set to end until 2020, the company and council agreed to ‘reset’ the relationship this year.
The council has also recently adopted a Business Charter for Social Responsibility under which larger contracts will be awarded in part on a commitment to creating jobs and buying supplies and services in Birmingham. This will be in effect when the Service Birmingham contract is renewed.