LCC and BT in discussions over future ownership of LDL

Liverpool City Council is in advanced discussions about the future ownership of its joint venture with BT, Liverpool Direct Ltd.

A proposal, made by Mayor Joe Anderson, will be considered in a report to the City Council’s Cabinet tomorrow (Friday, February 28).

It comes after several months of negotiations between the parties, reflecting the serious financial position of the Council and the changing local government marketplace.

LDL currently provides a range of services for the Council as part of the partnership created in 2001. These include HR and payroll; IT and web services; customer access; and revenue and benefits services.

The parties are aiming to complete negotiations by 31st March, when more details will be available. The implementation of the proposed new arrangements will take place over the following months.

Mayor Anderson said: “BT and Liverpool City Council have enjoyed a long and successful partnership through LDL, bringing commercial expertise, transforming services and bringing in resources to the city. LDL has created over 300 jobs and generated multi-million pounds worth of savings since July 2001, as well as bringing in around £90m investment and avoidable costs for the residents of the city and the city region.

“This transformation has only been achievable due to the sustained collaborative working between BT and their respective teams of staff. However, as part of our three-year budget strategy – to find £156m savings following government funding reductions – we are reviewing all services. I believe it is now time to move LDL in a new direction.”

Neil Rogers, Chairman of LDL and President, Global Government for BT Global Services, said: “Both BT and LCC agree that now is the right time to set a new direction for the relationship between us. LDL has had great success and was groundbreaking in its day but BT is working with LCC to agree whether a different approach would better help the City meet the increasing challenge it faces.”

Mayor Anderson added: “We are very grateful to BT, not only for the investment they have made historically through LDL but, for their continued support to the city through the recently announced sponsorship of the international Festival of Business; the creation of 240 new jobs in the city to support the growth of high speed broadband services and the renewed sponsorship of the Arena and Convention Centre.”