States Works teams return £500k profit

GUERNSEY’S bin workers, sewage cart drivers, road cleaners, gardeners and emergency call-out staff returned a profit of nearly £500,000 for the taxpayer last year, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Lickley, managing director of States Works. (Picture provided by States Works)
Paul Lickley, managing director of States Works. (Picture provided by States Works)

The 2020 States Works annual report shows that overall revenue from the teams that provide essential environmental and infrastructure services was £16.2m.

States Works is funded entirely from income from its various contracts, with no direct funding from the States.

Outgoing chairman John Hollis said strong operational leadership and the response of staff under challenging circumstances meant that disruption to islanders during lockdown was minimised.

‘The way the island responded to this unprecedented situation truly exemplified the “Guernsey Together” community spirit and resilience of islanders, but also demonstrated the importance to the island of maintaining a dedicated resource capable of responding to significant emergency situations,’ he said.

‘The efforts of our staff, alongside many other essential workers required to work, must be commended.

‘We are extremely proud of their commitment and dedication.

‘At the end of 2020, we also published States Works’ new business plan, which marks the start of a period of significant change and transformation for the business.

‘Once delivered, it will contribute to a leaner, smarter working and stronger business.’

States Works successfully negotiated the renewal of its key contracts with States clients in 2020, but the business was not immune to the financial impacts of the pandemic on the economy.

In particular, highways and land management services were affected by the first lockdown when only essential work was allowed to be carried out.

The full financial and operational impact was mitigated by efforts to catch up on a backlog of work when the lockdown restrictions lifted, plus increased turnover in other areas of the business.

Cesspit emptying services, for example, saw additional revenues, with islanders having to stay at home.

In 2020, more than 176,000 loads were removed from customer cesspits, which was significantly higher than the 2019 load count of nearly 163,000.

Looking to the future, States Works managing director Paul Lickley said that there were opportunities to improve services, increase efficiency and deliver greater value for money.

‘The business plan sets the scene in terms of what will be a period of significant change and transformation and will lead to the establishment of an optimum operating model for the business,’ he said.

‘A key focus of the plan is on digital transformation.

‘This will enable changes to current practices, based on better data and business intelligence, guiding and delivering smarter, leaner ways of working.'

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