Orbis, Surrey & That “Gentleman’s Agreement”


Yesterday, Brighton & Hove Unison  e-mailed the Chief Executive and Executive Finance director of BHCC in regard to the “sweetheart deal” or “gentleman’s agreement” that Surrey County Council have made with this Conservative government.  The recording and transcript of a conversation between Councillor Hodges and others is within the public domain now.


As you may be aware,  Brighton & Hove CC is currently in negotiations with Surrey CC (and ESCC) regarding some Council support services such as Finance, Human Resources, Revenues and Benefits, Premises, ICT transferring into ORBIS (a three way partnership between the three councils).


UNISON is deeply concerned,  given the total lack of openness and transparency  Surrey have to date shown about this deal, that hundreds  our members from BHCC are going to be transferring into such a partnership and I have today requested a response to those concerns from Geoff Raw and David Kuenssberg.  Both myself and our sister union GMB have a meeting later this week where we were expected to meet with the new Finance director for ORBIS.  Concerns around such a secret deal having been made, in favour of a strongly held Tory seat, is giving us a good deal of cause for concern around how BHCC can work with a Council that has apparent disregard for the values BHCC holds, those of openness, transparency and collaboration.

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