OUTSOURCING of Bolton Council’s Corporate Property Services will not be affected by the meltdown of construction giant Carillion, it has been confirmed.

The huge company – dubbed ‘the company that runs Britain’ until very recently– has gone into liquidation under a mountain of debt.

Town hall unions opposed plans to outsource Corporate Property Services, partly over Carillion’s reputation for allegedly blacklisting its members.

But, last month, town hall bosses agreed to transfer the department to the private sector.

The council and its ruling Labour group have reassured taxpayers that Carillion is not in contention for running any of its services.

A Bolton Labour group spokesman, said: “Carillion is not an option, however as with any consultation, all options were on the table at the outset.

“Our robust processes did weed out concerns about Carillion’s financial stability early on and this was supported by the profit warnings the company issued. There were other issues too, specifically around the sour practises a subsidiary carried against unions, in the past.

“We have ultimately been strong-armed into this position. The council does operate under increasing pressure and with limited resources, given the cuts forced on the local authority from central government coffers since the Tories took control of the public purse-strings in 2010.”

A Bolton Council spokesman added :“We are currently talking to a number of companies about the transfer.Carillion is not one of the companies we are speaking to – they are not a supplier on the framework we are using - and as a result this does not impact on the transfer.”

But unions say the collapse of Carillion demonstrates the ‘folly’ of outsourcing is calling on the council to rethink its decision.

Matt Kilsby, UNISON branch chair, said: “In light of Carillion going into liquidation we call on the council to halt any further privatisation plans and work with us to keep services in-house, because if one as big as Carillion goes to the wall, it gives us no confidence in working with private companies.”

He continued :”As far as I’m aware they are in talks, but it’s never too late to put a halt to it and talk to us and our members to implement our plans to keep the services in house. Our members in the service, who work and know the service, came up with proposals to keep it in house. We call on them to halt any further plans to outsource Corporate Property Services: As a trade union representing public sector workers, we will campaign vigorously to keep services in house.”

Work is also continuing on the Great North Rail Project, despite Carillion being a 'principal contractor'

Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “While the full impacts of Carillion going into administration will become clear in the coming weeks, Network Rail has committed to work closely with the official receiver as we continue work to upgrade the Manchester-Bolton-Preston line.”