“Damning report into EasyCouncil outsourcing including a forward by John McDonnell”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: “Damming report into EasyCouncil outsourcing including a forward by John McDonnell”

You can read Barnet UNISON’s comprehensive report into outsourcing online here


Professor Dexter Whitfield’s report charts the origins of easyCouncil from its birth under the Leadership of Mike Freer MP right through to the present. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the dangers of outsourcing.


“The One Barnet programme has cost at least a staggering £23.66m to date, a substantial part of which was paid to management consultants engaged to legitimize Barnet Council’s outsourcing strategy.”

“Barnet Council uses agency staff on an industrial scale, spending nearly £20m in 2016-17 alone on a contract with Comensura Limited (Impellam Group plc).”

“It is equally likely that the cost of commissioning has soared because the Council miscalculated the costs of contract management and monitoring.”


“Council has drastically reduced staffing hours in Barnet Libraries by 70.4%”

Family Services

“Critical OFSTED reviews in April and May 2017 concluded that Barnet’s services for children were ‘inadequate’ in all reported categories and graded ‘requires improvement’.”

“The Commissioner concluded that “…services have deteriorated significantly over the last five years” and identified flaws in the management of children’s services and the commissioning model.”

Social Care

“The Disability and Learning Service was transferred to the LATC but projected budget surpluses in the first year turned into significant losses leading to a £1m bailout from the LATC.”

“Barnet Council’s LATC created TBG Flex Limited to exploit deregulation and the LATC and Barnet workforce by the imposition of inferior terms and conditions on new permanent and temporary staff.”

“Barnet is a vitally important lesson that every outsourcing proposal should be challenged from the start, if necessary through the options appraisal, business case and procurement process, whilst promoting alternative policies, workplace organising, building community support and taking selective industrial action.” Dexter Whitfield, Director, European Services Strategy Unit and Adjunct Associate Professor, Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Flinders University, Adelaide.

I want to salute the tenacity and resolve of Barnet UNISON who have fought a decade-long heroic struggle against outsourcing by the London Borough of Barnet. The ‘Future Shape’, ‘easyCouncil’ and ‘One Barnet’ programme is effectively dead as a result of Barnet UNISON. The last four services subjected to the alternative delivery model assessment all remained in-house. Under a Labour Government the default position for the delivery of public services will no longer be outsourcing. A Labour Government will place our trust in the public sector to deliver public services.” John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, Labour Party.

“For anyone looking to organise a campaign against outsourcing, must and should read this report. It provides a valuable insight into the challenges our branch and our community have had to face over the past decade. The amount of money spent on consultants to deliver this political ideology is heart-breaking when considering cuts to frontline services that have been imposed. This was money that could and should have been spent on our social care services and our library services. This report provides a stark warning of the consequences of rejecting in-house services in favour of outsourcing. Everything I feared would happen has happened, the sooner a managed plan to bring services back in-house is put in place the better.” John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON.

Dexter Whitfield on campaigning against outsourcing

https://youtu.be/zDt8VKKQ-Vs #Capita

Dexter Whitfield on outsourcing failures

https://youtu.be/IiD17Pt7OwY #Capita

Dexter Whitfield on true costs of Barnet easyCouncil

https://youtu.be/V0SytYCj1HA #Capita

Read full report here Barnet UNISON Capita report 2018


Notes to Editors.

Contact details: John Burgess, Barnet UNISON on or 020 8359 2088 or email: john.burgess@barnetunison.org.uk


1. Mr easyCouncil defends his local government model


2. Your Choice Barnet (YCB) “The real deal”


3. ‘It is not a transformation, it is a destruction’ – Barnet’s UNISON branch call to save library jobs


4. Barnet UNISON Library Review


5. Barnet UNISON report on the results of our Family Services Survey, 2018.


6. One Barnet explained animation


7. Ten steps to learn more about One Barnet


8. All links to Barnet UNISON reports on outsourcing over the past decade