Parliament's call centre could move to Southampton

Daily Echo: The Palace of Westminster, better known as the Houses of Parliament The Palace of Westminster, better known as the Houses of Parliament

IT’S 80 miles from Big Ben – but Southampton is set to house the new call centre for the Houses of Parliament.

The Daily Echo has learned that the city is in line to be the base for the new parliamentary switchboard in an attempt to save £1m.

Capita Symonds, the company awarded the contract to run the service, insisted no decision has been made.

But it admitted it was considering the move to the south coast.

It is understood that daytime calls would be taken in Southampton, and at evenings and weekends they would go to Swindon.

Currently 26 people operate the switchboard, currently based in a grand room above the Commons chamber.

It is not known how many staff will be used in the relocated office.

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, said: “I suppose we should be grateful it’s not Bombay.

“I think it will strike many people as odd that the House of Commons cannot run this service in-house, but from a Southampton point of view I welcome any jobs that come here.”

Outsourcing giant Capita, which recently took over control of the switchboard, manages services on behalf of local and central government, including Southampton City Council.

A spokesman would not confirm where in the city the centre would be based.

The operators handle thousands of calls every day from people trying to reach MPs and members of the House of Lords.

The Capita spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are considering moving the Operator Bureau to Swindon and or Southampton, but at present no plans are confirmed.”

Comments (18)

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9:55am Thu 7 Jun 12

10 Minute Man says...

Depends which is easiest for the security services to monitor.
Depends which is easiest for the security services to monitor. 10 Minute Man

10:07am Thu 7 Jun 12

Linesman says...

The difficulty could be in recruiting people who speak the Queen's english with a BBC accent.
The difficulty could be in recruiting people who speak the Queen's english with a BBC accent. Linesman

10:17am Thu 7 Jun 12

StevieSteve says...

“I suppose we should be grateful it’s not Bombay."

Lol!
“I suppose we should be grateful it’s not Bombay." Lol! StevieSteve

10:18am Thu 7 Jun 12

Home Rule for England says...

Linesman wrote:
The difficulty could be in recruiting people who speak the Queen's english with a BBC accent.
Having watched the BBC's coverage of the Jubilee I would have thought BBC accents are the last thing a call centre would want!
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: The difficulty could be in recruiting people who speak the Queen's english with a BBC accent.[/p][/quote]Having watched the BBC's coverage of the Jubilee I would have thought BBC accents are the last thing a call centre would want! Home Rule for England

10:54am Thu 7 Jun 12

St Retford says...

It's only a handful of jobs but the principle here is a good one. London is subsidised by the rest of the country to a quite ludicrous degree, so I'm all in favour of them spreading the functions of government around the country so as to share the wealth a little bit.
It's only a handful of jobs but the principle here is a good one. London is subsidised by the rest of the country to a quite ludicrous degree, so I'm all in favour of them spreading the functions of government around the country so as to share the wealth a little bit. St Retford

11:00am Thu 7 Jun 12

hythe knights says...

Perhaps they can move parliament to bombay seeing as they are all so out of touch with the people.
Perhaps they can move parliament to bombay seeing as they are all so out of touch with the people. hythe knights

11:24am Thu 7 Jun 12

RedArmy1 says...

On to Footballing Matters :

WE ARE SOUTHAMPTON AND WE RULE THE SOUTH. COYR.

RED ARMY 2012. WIN.
On to Footballing Matters : WE ARE SOUTHAMPTON AND WE RULE THE SOUTH. COYR. RED ARMY 2012. WIN. RedArmy1

11:46am Thu 7 Jun 12

BillyTheKid says...

RedArmy1 wrote:
On to Footballing Matters :

WE ARE SOUTHAMPTON AND WE RULE THE SOUTH. COYR.

RED ARMY 2012. WIN.
Do one.
[quote][p][bold]RedArmy1[/bold] wrote: On to Footballing Matters : WE ARE SOUTHAMPTON AND WE RULE THE SOUTH. COYR. RED ARMY 2012. WIN.[/p][/quote]Do one. BillyTheKid

11:48am Thu 7 Jun 12

Goldenwight says...

Linesman wrote:
The difficulty could be in recruiting people who speak the Queen's english with a BBC accent.
Based on my knowledge of call centres in general, and Capita staff in particular, those who speak the Queens English would be an improvement.

Thank you for calling the Houses of Parliament. Your call is being held in a queue. Your call is important to us so please hold until you get irritated and throw the phone down in disgust.
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: The difficulty could be in recruiting people who speak the Queen's english with a BBC accent.[/p][/quote]Based on my knowledge of call centres in general, and Capita staff in particular, those who speak the Queens English would be an improvement. Thank you for calling the Houses of Parliament. Your call is being held in a queue. Your call is important to us so please hold until you get irritated and throw the phone down in disgust. Goldenwight

12:06pm Thu 7 Jun 12

soton-mike80 says...

I think this is great news for the city (if it happens) - it may lodge in minds of other large corporations that Southampton is the place to be. Good news for employment and good news for local economy!
I think this is great news for the city (if it happens) - it may lodge in minds of other large corporations that Southampton is the place to be. Good news for employment and good news for local economy! soton-mike80

12:37pm Thu 7 Jun 12

loosehead says...

soton-mike80 wrote:
I think this is great news for the city (if it happens) - it may lodge in minds of other large corporations that Southampton is the place to be. Good news for employment and good news for local economy!
News of possible jobs is good news & we should welcome them not go on about accents.
if we're picked this could be the thin edge of the wedge & could be the start of more employment for this city So Great News
[quote][p][bold]soton-mike80[/bold] wrote: I think this is great news for the city (if it happens) - it may lodge in minds of other large corporations that Southampton is the place to be. Good news for employment and good news for local economy![/p][/quote]News of possible jobs is good news & we should welcome them not go on about accents. if we're picked this could be the thin edge of the wedge & could be the start of more employment for this city So Great News loosehead

12:47pm Thu 7 Jun 12

elvisimo says...

St Retford wrote:
It's only a handful of jobs but the principle here is a good one. London is subsidised by the rest of the country to a quite ludicrous degree, so I'm all in favour of them spreading the functions of government around the country so as to share the wealth a little bit.
London provides a net subsidy of 20.3% of GDP. If you are interested.
[quote][p][bold]St Retford[/bold] wrote: It's only a handful of jobs but the principle here is a good one. London is subsidised by the rest of the country to a quite ludicrous degree, so I'm all in favour of them spreading the functions of government around the country so as to share the wealth a little bit.[/p][/quote]London provides a net subsidy of 20.3% of GDP. If you are interested. elvisimo

12:51pm Thu 7 Jun 12

ohec says...

hythe knights wrote:
Perhaps they can move parliament to bombay seeing as they are all so out of touch with the people.
Silly comment Bombay is here and New New Delhi and a certain baroness has already learned how the system works.
[quote][p][bold]hythe knights[/bold] wrote: Perhaps they can move parliament to bombay seeing as they are all so out of touch with the people.[/p][/quote]Silly comment Bombay is here and New New Delhi and a certain baroness has already learned how the system works. ohec

1:08pm Thu 7 Jun 12

Poppy22 says...

I'm surprised there are any employees left in government and local councils. Seems that Capita IS government, local councils, financial services etc now. Perhaps the government should just buy up Capita and make some money out of all this balance sheet outsourcing. As for why parliament can't employ just a small number of contact centre people goodness only knows! Just puts me off dealing with any call centre now as it's rarely the company you think you're dealing with!
I'm surprised there are any employees left in government and local councils. Seems that Capita IS government, local councils, financial services etc now. Perhaps the government should just buy up Capita and make some money out of all this balance sheet outsourcing. As for why parliament can't employ just a small number of contact centre people goodness only knows! Just puts me off dealing with any call centre now as it's rarely the company you think you're dealing with! Poppy22

1:53pm Thu 7 Jun 12

southy says...

St Retford wrote:
It's only a handful of jobs but the principle here is a good one. London is subsidised by the rest of the country to a quite ludicrous degree, so I'm all in favour of them spreading the functions of government around the country so as to share the wealth a little bit.
With the lost of jobs in London no real gain for the country only more tax money being filtered into private hands.
[quote][p][bold]St Retford[/bold] wrote: It's only a handful of jobs but the principle here is a good one. London is subsidised by the rest of the country to a quite ludicrous degree, so I'm all in favour of them spreading the functions of government around the country so as to share the wealth a little bit.[/p][/quote]With the lost of jobs in London no real gain for the country only more tax money being filtered into private hands. southy

6:22pm Thu 7 Jun 12

SaintM says...

capita is not known as crapita for a reason by its staff, no new staff will be employed just added to already existing staffload like the city centre staff who secretly also do work for wandsworth council and others which capita will not tell us about to keep costs down staff overworked and increased profit.
capita is not known as crapita for a reason by its staff, no new staff will be employed just added to already existing staffload like the city centre staff who secretly also do work for wandsworth council and others which capita will not tell us about to keep costs down staff overworked and increased profit. SaintM

8:01am Fri 8 Jun 12

Beer Monster says...

SaintM wrote:
capita is not known as crapita for a reason by its staff, no new staff will be employed just added to already existing staffload like the city centre staff who secretly also do work for wandsworth council and others which capita will not tell us about to keep costs down staff overworked and increased profit.
Agreed - I used to work for their pensions subsidiary (formerly Personal Pensions Management) in Salisbury. Within a year they'd made half the company redundant.

Aside from that, isn't Bombay known as Mumbai these days?
[quote][p][bold]SaintM[/bold] wrote: capita is not known as crapita for a reason by its staff, no new staff will be employed just added to already existing staffload like the city centre staff who secretly also do work for wandsworth council and others which capita will not tell us about to keep costs down staff overworked and increased profit.[/p][/quote]Agreed - I used to work for their pensions subsidiary (formerly Personal Pensions Management) in Salisbury. Within a year they'd made half the company redundant. Aside from that, isn't Bombay known as Mumbai these days? Beer Monster

10:06pm Sat 9 Jun 12

loosehead says...

After hearing of Unites bus drivers in London striking when the Olympics are on if they don't get paid more whilst the Games are on I can see why companies want to move out of London.
I can't get over this are Unite for real or is this April fools day?
They want a bonus to do their normal job because the Games are on?
Does that mean when the Rugby World Cup is on in 2015 they'll want extra money just to work?
Let anyone say I'm just a Union basher after this I HATE UNITE
After hearing of Unites bus drivers in London striking when the Olympics are on if they don't get paid more whilst the Games are on I can see why companies want to move out of London. I can't get over this are Unite for real or is this April fools day? They want a bonus to do their normal job because the Games are on? Does that mean when the Rugby World Cup is on in 2015 they'll want extra money just to work? Let anyone say I'm just a Union basher after this I HATE UNITE loosehead

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