ODS has existed for many years, born out of the need to maintain Oxford City Council's housing stock, parks and streets. It was formally established in 2012 to serve the community's needs and provide commercial services where capable.
In 2018, ODS was made a wholly owned company by its sole shareholder, Oxford City Council. It is now made up of two companies that work together to deliver cost-effective public and commercial services.
Becoming a separate entity opened ODS up to new possibilities and ambitions. We are building more homes and maintaining streets, parks and properties. We are constructing more highways and buildings. We are providing more managed services, repairing vehicles, conducting MOTs, recycling waste, controlling pests and removing trees. We are working for more local authorities, businesses, schools, universities and residents now across the county.
We create social value – through the services we deliver directly to residents and through the excellent commercial services we provide to businesses, institutions and other local authorities.
Our commercial customers are reassured to know that many of our people have unrivalled expertise in their fields and have probably seen more and done more than most of our competitors ever will.
But we are still hungry to find new, better ways of doing good for our communities and customers, sustainably and in a cost-efficient way.
Oxford Direct Services Trading Limited (ODSTL) is a limited company which commenced trading in April 2018. The shares in ODSTL are held by Oxford City Council. Unlike its “sister” company Oxford Direct Services Limited (ODSL), ODSTL operates as a entirely commercial entity, trading not with the Council but exclusively with “external” customers. As such, ODSTL falls outside the provisions relating to public sector bodies. As with any other commercial company, if ODSTL generates a profit over a trading year, its directors may decide to make a dividend payment to its shareholder. In such event, Oxford City Council will no doubt use any dividend received to support its provision of public and community services within Oxford.
Being a purely commercial trading entity, ODSTL is not required to comply with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, and thus there is no requirement on it to publish a register of its contracts. In this it is in exactly the same position as any other commercial trading company. The degree of public scrutiny to which it is subject is the same as that of all other UK commercial trading companies.
We create social value – through the services we deliver directly to residents and through the excellent commercial services we provide.