Barnet UNISON Press Release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Barnet Council Not for Sale Conference Saturday 7 July 2012.
Barnet UNISON in partnership with Barnet Alliance for Public Services and supported by the TUC are hosting a conference on the mass privatisation of Barnet council services this Saturday 7 July 12- 3 pm at the Greek Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road, North Finchley, London N12 9RU
The Council is attempting to become a Commissioning Council whereby it no longer delivers council services. In the last few months Barnet Council has already transferred the following staff and services out of the council to new employers
· Social Care services for adults with disabilities
· Housing Needs & Resources
· Parking services
· All of the Legal Department * (talks on the transfer of staff to Harrow Council are still ongoing)
By the end of May 2013 up to 70% of the council workforce will no longer be working for the Council.
The aim of the conference is to provide information about the scale of risk to the council tax payers of Barnet. The conference will be in two parts.
Part One speakers include
Professor Dexter Whitfield European Services Strategy Unit (ESSU) recently published a report on the cost and consequences of the Commissioning Council.
Andy Mudd from the well-respected local government research body the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) published a report warning that over the past few years those at the north London Council involved in the awarding and managing of contracts to private contractors, have often ignored both council guidelines and UK competition law.
John Dix resident, one of the infamous Barnet Bloggers recently reported the Council has agreed another £10million be allocated to consultants to deliver the outsourcing One Barnet Programme
The second part of the meeting will include speakers from Aberdeen UNISON, and Edinburgh UNISON. Both of these councils recently decided not to go ahead with outsourcing after taking part in lengthy procurement discussions with a number of private sector contractors. A speaker from Sefton UNISON will talk about why Sefton Council decided to terminate their contract early with Capita Symonds. Capita Symonds is one of the Bidders for one the One Barnet projects.
John Burgess, Branch Secretary UNISON said “We are continuing to seek a meeting with councillors in particular the members of the Cabinet Committee regarding our concerns about the One Barnet Programme. We know from experience that once residents are made aware of One Barnet they are very concerned about the implications. This conference is just one part of a widespread community campaign to bring public scrutiny to the One Barnet experiment.”
Note to Editors
1. Barnet Alliance website
2. APSE report
3. ESSU report: Cost of Consequences of commissioning
4. UNISON branch write to 63 councillors warning of serious gamble with council services
5. Edinburgh Council dumps privatisation
6. Aberdeen UNISON wins battle against privatisationhttp://www.unison.org.uk/eastmidlands/news_view.asp?did=7708
7. Sefton Council to end £65m technical services contract with Capita Symonds