UNION bosses have condemned the decision to outsource jobs from Warrington Borough Council calling the decision far from transparent.

Unison has spoken out against the decision to transfer roles in Active Warrington to LiveWire in a meeting held behind closed doors.

Jason Horan, joint branch secretary of Unison said: ”An e-mail detailing specific concerns with the proposal and procurement process was sent to all the executive board members in advance of the meeting, however the executive board chose to ignore the content of the e-mail and instead voted to proceed with officers recommendation to outsource the Active Warrington service to LiveWire.”

The union say it has raised issues on the changes since October and accused the authority of being an officer led council whose sole intention was to outsource the service.

Unison challenged the decision outlining its concern regarding the absence of any tendering or procurement process which is a necessity when deciding who should run the services for the residents of Warrington, a process which also ensures value for money to council tax payers has been met.

Trade unions only received a copy of the executive board report three hours before the executive board meeting despite them seeking assurances from council officers that the report would be shared with the trade unions prior to it going public.

The union secretary added: “This transfer of staff is just another signal that the Labour administration have no interest in keeping services under Local Authority control.”

A council spokesman said: "The four members of staff involved are keen to transfer to LiveWire.

"All unions including Unison were consulted about the proposals contained in the report and its recommendation prior to the executive board meeting.

"The decision to transfer the Active Warrington service to LiveWire was recommended following a market test exercise. This involved organisations which were already operating in Warrington and which could show a track record of delivering sports and activity development functions.

"LiveWire were able to strongly demonstrate synergy with their current service offer, a strong local focus and above all sustainability for the service going forward, along with protected employment conditions and future development opportunities for staff members involved.

"LiveWire is a not-for-profit community interest company, which means that any surplus it makes either goes back to be invested in services for the community or brings a reduction in LiveWire’s fee, which lessens the cost to the public."