Somerset County Council to outsource adult services

Somerset County Council has approved a deal to allow its services for adults with learning disabilities to be run by an external organisation.

The Council has said it believes the move will offer greater flexibility and will better meet the demands of the changing demographic of users.

The news comes after a public consultation in 2014, which found 54 per cent of residents wanted the service to remain internal, while 34 per cent wanted the services to be outsourced.

However, trade unions Unite and Unison have opposed the plans, claiming the service is being privatised and have warned that performance could suffer as a result.

The service currently employs over 1,200 staff and had a budget of £27 million, but is now expected to move over to the new provider by 2017.