Shropshire Council approves changes to services

Plans to create a holding company to run some services in order cut costs and red tape have been approved by Shropshire Council.

The leader of the Conservative-led authority, Keith Barrow, said the company could generate a profit.

He said: "Changing how we work will [also] mean we can avoid closing or reducing the quality of public services and avoid losing valuable local jobs."

A Unison spokesman has called it "outsourcing by another name".

Mr Barrow has said the new company would be controlled by the council, which announced further cuts of £24m by 2014 as well as a freeze on council tax for 2012-13, earlier this year.

He said the plans would mean council tax would not be increased and claimed it was not a move towards privatisation, despite the planned use of private sector businesses and voluntary organisations.

The Liberal Democrat group has urged caution over making "fundamental changes" and the Labour group has strongly opposed the plans.

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