Northamptonshire County Council has decided to outsource 100% of its services.
The plan is to "move entirely away from directly delivering services" into what it calls a ‘Next Generation Model,’ where an expert core council will commission specialist social enterprises to carry out activity to help achieve its goals for the county.
The vast majority of the council's entire 4,000 staff will move to four new bodies, leaving a rump of just 150 employed by the authority, who will be tasked with the commissioning of "specialist social enterprises" instead, envisaged as becoming "separate stand-alone organisations free from statutory restraints."
The four arms-length bodies are child protection, care of vulnerable adults, providing health and well-being services, and improving the county.
The decision is accompanied by budget cuts of £68m, which will affect the council's work in promoting the county's economy, waste management and the fire service, such as £7m less on waste management, £1m less on the promotion work, £750,000 less on the fire service budget and so on.
The council made the decision on the back of predictions that the cost of providing services will rise by £104m over the next five years, but money from central government will drop in the same period by £79m.
Council leader Jim Harker, admitting the changes would be the biggest seen by the council in its 125 year history, claimed that traditional methods "not only no longer work financially, but also do not meet the needs of citizens."
"We are serving people with a totally new set of expectations about how they receive goods and services with an expectation of greater individual choice and more responsiveness.
"Our Next Generation Model will not only help rise to these expectations but do so in a way which is affordable," he claims.