Bringing in an outside company to provide cleaning services - among several other duties - in schools in Burton and beyond is a good idea, a Conservative education chief has explained.
Ian Parry, cabinet member for education, finance and transformation at Staffordshire County Council, is quoted by the Burton Mail as saying that his idea for outsourcing a number of tasks should still go ahead. This is despite some criticism from a union-commissioned report that also suggested his proposal "lacks credibility".
The report even described his plan as "seriously flawed" and containing "serious avoidable risks".
But Mr Parry has hit back and argued that teaming up with an organisation that will provide cleaning, catering and building maintenance is a wise move. He commented on the report, which was put together by APSE Solutions at the request of Unison, remarking that it does not offer a comprehensive view of the situation.
"The report is based on only a small part of the work undertaken by the council and our advisors.
APSE at no time asked for any further information and seems happy to have prepared a report without seeking a full understanding of the proposals," he stated, adding: "There is no evidence to back up their findings and no explanation as to how they reached their conclusions."
Mr Parry must now join up with his team and decide whether the 20-year deal on the table should be signed. It would be worth a total of up to £4 billion and affect in the region of 5,000 staff.
Any company that signs a deal to carry out the responsibilities and maintain schools in Burton and the surrounding area must have access to the latest cleaning products if it is to perform successfully.
The councillor added that education is changing and the local authority needs to change too if it is to take advantage of the contracts available in the sector right now, which might be able to trigger efficiency gains.