Halton Council is launching its own recruitment company to enable it to hire temporary workers. 

Connect2Halton will be a 50/50 publicly owned joint venture company between Halton Borough Council and Commercial Services Group (CSG) - a firm owned by Kent County Council. 

Halton currently spends around £14m-a-year on temporary workers hired through external recruitment agencies, but believes the new model will help it save money over time. 

A similar arrangement already exists between CSG and five other councils: Hampshire, Luton, Surrey, Dudley and Dorset. 

A Halton spokeswoman said the new company will also support the council with its focus on providing job access to local residents and in particular, those who may be looking to get back into employment.

When it goes live in September, Connect2Halton will be based in the council’s offices in Widnes and several new jobs will be created to run it.  

Cllr Mark Dennett, Halton Borough Council’s executive board member for corporate services, said: "Like many other local authorities, the current cost of temporary agency workers in Halton is significant and while there will always be the need to have a flexible workforce to support the delivery of council services, it is a priority for the council to bring this cost down. One of the ways we are doing this is through this new approach to recruitment."

He added: "CSG bring with them a wealth of experience and importantly, they have a track-record of reducing the costs of temporary recruitment with the local authorities they partner with.

Matt Johnson, Commercial Services Group CEO, added, “We are pleased to welcome Halton Borough Council as our sixth joint venture partner.  In these challenging times, councils are recognising the benefits of taking control of their contingent recruitment to help manage costs and support their local economy."  

CSG is wholly owned by Kent County Council and has been operating for nearly 100 years.  It is now one of the largest companies of its kind in the UK with 26 brands and more than 16,000 customers.

Previously, Luton Borough Council enjoyed higher-than-expected, six-figure savings from its joint recruitment agency, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).