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SK Solutions

The expensive-for-the-counciltaxpayer experiment by Goddard, Derbyshire et al now has to be reversed with care services being brought back in-house.

"Comments/Views of the Executive Councillor:
Given the recent developments in integrated locality working following the emergence of
the CCG this is a tremendous opportunity for the service to return to the Council and play
a key role alongside other front-line staff in maintaining people in their own homes and out
of acute and residential care."

Ye Gods and little fishes.  They set this Schweinerei up, fail to monitor it properly and when it fails miserably they see it as a "tremendous opportunity".

This is what we are paying Arms Length Management Organisation SK Solutions per month.


November 2012
SK Solutions £732,080.12
Individual Solutions £427,128.17                                                                                                                                                                                 
October 2012
SK Solutions £732,080.12
Individual Solutions £427,128.17                                                                                           
September  2012
SK Solutions £2,788,342.97
Individual Solutions £427,755/02                                          
August 2012
SK Solutions £5,303,462.37
Individual Solutions £442,795.16                                                                                                            
July 2012
Individual Solutions SK £427,674.43
June 2012
May 2012                                    
£4, 506,751.14                                               
Individual Solutions SK £495,283.66            
April 2012                                   
April 2012                                    
Individual Solutions SK £856,002.58            
March 2012                                  
February 2012                              
Individual Solutions £427,710.25                 
January 2012                                     
Individual Solutions SK £427,710.25            

December 2011
Individual Solutions  £427,128.17
SK Solutions £3,144,860.05  
November 2011
Individual Solutions £428,292.47
SKSolutions £1,077,261.22
October 2011 bug on Council's website - not safely accessible
September 2011
SK Solutions £4,012,154.90
Individual Solutions - £427,710.25
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
Individual Solutions  £431,861.88
SK Solutions £8,128,106.76
May 2011
Individual Solutions £429,856.22
April 2011
Individual Solutions  £439,807.46
March 2011
Individual Solutions   £427,714.72
February 2011
Individual Solutions £366,786.55
January 2011
Individual Solutions £366,786.55

Local authorities are demonstrating ever more clearly their inability to manage, control and operate via wholly owned subsidiaries, the various functions hitherto run completely in house. This is for a variety of reasons but one cause is their lack of awareness of the fundamental principle of "arms length" relationship in finance, trading and elsewhere. The rules are necessary  in order to be able to judge performance but also to let the local management get on with the job and the Authority must act only as shareholders and as such they can get involved only at important meetings like AGMs, EGMs.  The operation of this principle is now being examined closely in its nationwide application to multi-national concerns by KHMRC in order to ensure each unit is paying its fair share of tax. Google, for example, does all its billing from Ireland and Starbucks only pays a small fraction of what is expected in Britain - £10 million on sales of £3 billion.

While we must focus on the present triple dip recession, amateurs like Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council  should concentrate more on their own business or hire people who can and/or bring everything back indoors.

Despite all the concerns regarding the following, Councillor Derbyshire, Leader of Stockport Council, again refused to respond to a question regarding financial irregularities of several million pounds at another SMBC Arms Length Management Organisation - NPS.

And Councillor Derbyshire still refuses to respond to my questions regarding financial irregularities of circa £5 million at another Stockport Council Arms Length Management Organisation - NPS Stockport and she has done for circa 6 years.  Is Councillor Derbyshire a fit person to hold public office?

They will  be tying up of £5 million of taxpayers’ money in an earmarked reserve to support SSK, which now cannot be used on frontline and priority services during difficult times and a sum which is equivalent to around 33% or one third of the Executives’ savings and cuts requirement for 2013/14.

Some of the same officials under this fraud inquiry cloud, also deliberately built to the toxic waste dump school too small causing a loss to the council taxpayer, which is an offence under the Fraud Act 2006:-

Click opposite to read an in-depth investigation into how the £4.7 million went missing.

Again, Stockport LibDem Executive Councillors and senior council officers' financial and managerial incompetence shines though, to the detriment of the  jobs of honest, decent local people.

Read those censored reports and see all the blacked out parts.  

It appears that the main culprit was and remains the bizarre accounting procedures for work in progress and its completion and subsequent invoicing. The motivation is unclear but was likely to have been pressure to show a profit which did not exist ans which had to come to light in later years.  However, it is generally agreed that severe systems/control weaknesses such as those identified at SK Solutions would always make the company or operation more vulnerable to fraud of any kind. Further, there should always be awareness of the danger of fraud in dealings with outside parties like suppliers, customers as well as questionable relationships between employees and outsiders.

Why weren't the SMBC directors keeping an eye on what was going on?

But the Managing Director of SK Solutions can still afford his two storey  house extension, so all is well!

These problems at Individual SK Solutions are in addition to the problems at Sk Solutions. What a dog's dinner this Council has made of running things!

It is Council-owned. It was formed in 2009.
It has not been performing to expectations.
81 home support workers could go.  Low paid, front line staff seem to be paying the price instead of those further up the chain.
It needs to be more efficient.
The unions blame poor management.
Costs to be "driven down"
The founding objective was to make adult support services more "cost effective.


Click opposite to see Solutions SK's 2010 accounts.

Click opposite to see the 2010 accounts from Individual Solutions SK.

Click opposite to see the 2010 accounts for Waste Solutions SK Ltd.

Care Solutions SK - no accounts available.


Were there no interim accounts to ring warning bells? There was weak management etc.  So, who hired them in the first place?


The whole philosophy of hiving off operations which should simple be sharpened up in house, unless the real aim is privatisation with friends involved. Also, the same image of the separate legal entity is easily achieved by changin a few logos on vehicles and sites. At least "divisions" might have stumbled on the £4.7million earlier - but is that too much to expect?

"SK Solutions..
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors are responsible for the strategic direction and success of the company. They are responsible for the delivery of a wide range of services and day-to-day operations across the organisation against the plans that have been agreed with Stockport Council. The Board meet on a regular basis to discuss strategic issues, policies and make key decisions.
The Board is supported by three committees: Service Improvement, Nominations & Remuneration and Audit.
The Service Improvement Committee is responsible for ensuring that Solutions SK Ltd continues to demonstrate improvements in service delivery, customer satisfaction and employee engagement. They meet on a quarterly basis. Decisions made by this Committee are reported back to the main Board for noting.
The Nominations & Remuneration Committee consists of all Directors and they are responsible for leading the process for Board appointments and making recommendations to the Board. They are also responsible for agreeing the emoluments packages of the Executive Directors. This committee meets as necessary. Decisions made by the Nominations & Remuneration Committee are reported back to the main Board for noting.
The Audit Committee meets three times per year to assess the adequacy of the company’s financial and audit arrangements and to ensure that the company’s published figures represent a true and fair reflection of its financial performance. Decisions made by the Audit Committee are reported back to the main Board for noting."

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