POWYS COUNTY COUNCIL have announced that Heart of Wales Property Service (HoWPS) will be dissolved and services will be brought back under the direct control of the local authority when the current contract comes to end.

HoWPS, a property, residential, construction and services group, was established in 2017 as a 50:50 joint venture partnership between Powys County Council and Kier.

The failure of the joint venture will see over 100 members of staff return to local authority employment.

John Byrne, UNISON Powys County Branch Secretary, said: “We welcome the council’s decision to wind up the Heart of Wales Property services with Kier and we are confident we will see services improve as a result.

“These services should never have been outsourced and we are pleased to see yet another outsourced service return to be fully managed and delivered by the council.”

Mark Turner, UNISON Regional Organiser, said: “This is another example of a failed venture which has wasted taxpayer’s money.

“The private sector struggles to deliver public services. This is proven time and again when outsourced provisions fail and local authorities have duty to rectify the damage.

“There are no shortcuts to delivering decent public services and local authorities in Wales must learn lessons from Powys county council.”