Council may sell business

Reporter:

Staff reporter

A COUNCIL-owned school and office supplies business may be sold to a private company.

West Mercia Supplies is based at Oxon Business Park in Shrewsbury and employs about 100 people.

It deals in school and college supplies and office products for the council and non-profit organisations.

WMS currently is owned by four authorities: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire County Councils.

A spokesman for Shropshire said: “In coming weeks decisions are to be taken by the cabinets of the four councils to explore ways to enable it to stand alone and secure a profitable future.

“West Mercia Supplies is fortunate that it no longer depends on the support of the four councils and has the potential to be sold as a profitable, going concern to a prospective purchaser.

“The options will be examined in more detail over the next few months with a sale in the autumn being a possibility.”

Mike Phillips, managing director of WMS, said: “We’ve had a number of strategic reviews over the last few years, so this is nothing new.

“A review looks at whether we should be run privately and whether or not running a trading activity is  in the interest of local authorities, which is debatable.”

See full story in the Leader

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