Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Cheshire councils appoint Agilisys as transformation partner
Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council have appointed transformation specialist Agilisys as their implementation and delivery partner for the Best for Business Programme over the next seven years.
The Best for Business Programme has been created as a key enabler for both councils to deliver a responsible, effective and efficient organisation to ensure resources are well managed and reflect the priorities of their residents.
The programme’s vision is based around four key principles: simple, standard, shared, and self-service.
Agilisys will be responsible for the rollout, delivery and support of the UNIT4 Business World On! Platform, a web-based cloud platform that will provide a consolidated ERP solution across finance, procurement, debtors, HR and payroll. It will also consolidate a multitude of legacy budgeting and financial systems currently in use across the two councils.
This change is an integral cornerstone in creating a ‘fit for purpose’ business system, which will enhance the local councils, schools and academies, and other associated companies’ ability to process and administer their business activities.
Under the arrangement, Agilisys will also manage the integration services for the councils.
The contract announcement will also provide an opportunity for the councils and Agilisys to showcase these services to other partners who might join the framework, and share the benefits of a partnership that could extend to 12 years in total.
Mark Wynn, director of corporate services at Cheshire West Council, said: “The Best for Business Programme is a once in a decade investment and the upgrade to our enterprise and resource planning systems will help fulfil our aims to undertake our public duty in a joined-up and efficient manner with other public bodies and service providers.
“The platform will help us simplify processes and procedures, speed up work flows and allow us to work with our local partners to deliver joint and shared services. All this will ensure that we make best use of our budget to deliver common outcomes for our residents.”
Nicky Cox, managing partner for transformation at Agilisys, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Cheshire Councils in transforming their support services to simplify and standardise how they do things and share their resources to deliver greater operational efficiency. Our best practice public sector templates will be used to align the councils to a common set of processes. We will be working closely with both councils and their commercial partners in prioritising and managing their business changes to deliver long term benefits for the region.”