NSCSO One Barnet – UNISON respond to Measures letter

UNISON has been actively engaged in weekly Tripartite talks with representatives from Capita and the Council. I expect information to be provided to all NSCSO staff which will help provide some clarification on what will be happening after transfer to Capita.

It is important for all members in NSCSO to come along to the UNISON briefings.

Today UNISON submitted a response to the Measures letter submitted by Barnet Council which you can view here

One Barnet:”When something looks too good to be true………”

Between November 2006 and September 2007, ahead of the credit crunch, Barnet Council entered into a number of fixed term deposits worth £27.4 million with two Icelandic banks.  Councillors were advised that the Icelandic banks provided a very attractive and sound return on the investment, they were also informed that these banks had sound strategies, business plans and delivered excellent performance. The investments in these banks were apparently within the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy and Annual Investment Strategy approved by the Cabinet Resources Committee in March 2008.



However, during the same period newspapers were reporting that these very banks were lending huge sums of money to investors (some Icelandic) to buy companies (many UK businesses) and paying eye watering prices which even the Middle Eastern sovereign funds would not pay.

What happened next was £27.4 million pounds of Council assets were frozen in two Icelandic banks following the collapse of the Icelandic banking system.

The point is that nothing is guaranteed and to date the Council has not provided either of the Council Scrutiny Committees of any robust evidence of learning lessons from other Councils.  

It is wrong and naive to claim other Councils did not seek expert advice about drafting contracts. To suggest that by spending millions on expert legal advicethe Council wil be able to hold a multinational company to account and hence guarantee savings is quite frankly frightening.

In the real world everyone (apart from One Barnet Supporters) understands one thing

“Their (multinational companies) lawyers are always bigger and better

than the Councils.

One Barnet – NOT Learning LESSONS from failure

NOT Learning LESSONS from failure

It was simple but clear request from the cross party Business Management Overview & Scrutiny Committee. They asked the Lead Cabinet Member Councillor Rams responsible for One Barnet Programme to bring evidence of when they visited other Councils, who visited them and what they learnt.

What they got was a list, but listen for yourself here http://youtu.be/_UQ17yFYeIs

The short clip is under 3minutes long. Have a read of some key extracts

Former Leader Councillor Brian Salinger tried to obtain details of the visits

“When the visits carried out who went on them and what did they learn from them? None of that is contained in here, six pages is desk top research. What members here are looking for are, what have you learnt from meeting up with councils face to face?

To Councillor Rams he asked “Which of these have you visited?

Councillor Rams replied

 “I haven’t visited any of the sites, just by not visiting does not mean you are mot learning from your officers and desktop research”

Chair of Business Management Overview & Scrutiny Committee Councillor Hugh Rayner intervened and said:

“In fairness councillor Rams all we have here is a list of visits it doesn’t say whether they were for one hour, one day, one week, it doesn’t say when they were there, it doesn’t say what benefit we got from them, it doesn’t say who went, how detailed whether it was one person or a team, it’s so sketchy its absolutely useless I’m afraid”

He followed again by saying:

“I think the most important thing is to know what you learnt from each of them, for instance if you went on a visit and you found contracting out wasn’t a good idea maybe that should be noted, that they considered it was not a good idea and but here we don’t know.”

After four and half years of Future Shape/EasyCouncil/One Barnet, millions spent on consultants, Ten Conservative Councillors are on the brink of making the biggest political decision since the creation of Barnet Council in 1965, and the Council has still not provided any evidence of lessons learnt.


UNISON report on the Audit scrutiny of the One Barnet NSCSO & DRS Projects:

From: John Burgess
Sent: 20 November 2012 18:03
To: Andreas Ioannidis; cllr.a.brodkin@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.campbell@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.cornelius@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.finn@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.harper@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.hutton@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.moore@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.schneiderman@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.slocombe@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.sodha@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.strongolou@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.a.tambourides@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.b.coleman@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.b.evangeli@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.b.gordon@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.b.perry@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.b.rawlings@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.b.salinger@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.b.schama@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.c.farrier@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.c.omacauley@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.c.rogers@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.c.salinger@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.d.longstaff@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.d.seal@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.d.thomas@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.d.yawitch@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.e.greenspan@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.g.cooke@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.g.johnson@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.g.old@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.g.sargeant@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.h.hart@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.h.rayner@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.j.cohen@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.j.hart@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.j.johnson@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.j.marshall@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.j.scannell@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.j.tambourides@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.j.tierney@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.k.mcguirk@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.l.rutter@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.m.braun@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.m.cohen@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.m.palmer@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.m.shooter@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.p.coakleywebb@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.r.cornelius@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.r.houston@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.r.rams@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.r.thompstone@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.r.turner@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.s.khatri@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.s.palmer@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.s.rajput@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.s.sowerby@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.t.davey@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.w.prentice@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.z.zubairi@barnet.gov.uk; Mittra, Cllr Arjun
Cc: ‘Terry, Stephen’
Subject: UNISON report on the Audit scrutiny of the One Barnet NSCSO & DRS Projects:
Importance: High


Dear Councillor


On Thursday 22 November a report naming the preferred bidder for the NSCSO Project will be published.


Please find enclosed UNISON report entitled ‘Report on the Audit scrutiny of the One Barnet NSCSO & DRS Projects.’

(To view report click here)

The report is accompanied by a number of Appendixes (A- D) some of which are internal audit reports and one is a Health Check report.





In relation to Appendix A &B please note the following:

“This document has been prepared only for London Borough of Barnet Management and solely for the purpose and on the terms and scope agreed with management.  We accept no liability (including for negligence) to anyone else in connection with this document, and it should not be relied upon by any third party.”

As ever if there is a point of clarification or concern please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes

John Burgess

Branch Secretary.


Wake up to the risks of the One Barnet Programme before it is too late

Barnet Council – One Barnet Programme (OBP)

There are two key Council responses to any criticism of the OBP are

We will have a special ‘Flexible contract’ and a genuine ‘Partnership’ with the contractors delivering services to Barnet residents.

Let’s take a look at what Flexible contracts & Partnerships in action.

Somerset County Council is now embroiled in a legal dispute with their Joint Venture Partner Southwest One.

“Somerset County Council preparing for court in escalating conflict with IBM”

This report (to view click here) is going to their Cabinet Committee on Monday 29 October 2012.

The report provides clear evidence that even in dire financial climate just what happens to a partnership.

Somerset Council has and continues to make cuts to services. We see no evidence that the Partners Southwest One and IBM are helping share that burden.

What this report reveals is that the partner has decided to take action against the Council. The Council has been trying to contract manage the Partner and this has resulted in further legal claims by the partner see extract below:

“SWo has issued a legal claim against SCC on this issue. It is paramount that we look after the best interests of Somerset’s tax payers and we will defend SCC’s position. Where standards of quality and performance are not being met, we will take action.

1.2. On 3rd September 2012 SWo served court proceedings against SCC for the Procurement Dispute.

1.3. The history of SWo poor performance is continuing; during 2012 the Client team have been holding SWo to account; resulting in the serving of 8 contractual notices to SWo.

1.4. Over the past 3 weeks SWo have commenced Disputes on several other matters, issuing further financial claims and disputing SCC’s warning notices.

1.5. With a number of escalating Disputes, we need to take action to:”

Here is proof that even when the client team try to hold the partner to account the response from the partner has been to issue further financial claims against the council.

Barnet Council responses to questions from residents and councillors at the recent Business Management Overview & Scrutiny Committee (24 October 2012) were that a flexible contract & good partner will ensure services will not be cut or deteriorate. If there are any problems with a contractor these will be addressed by the client side monitoring team,

You can view the responses made at the above meeting by clicking on the links below

1. Barnet Council’s new Interim Chief Executive, Andrew Travers, explains OneBarnet


2. Hugh Rayner: How can we stop the Council getting screwed in contracts?


3. Rowan Turner aren’t 10 year contracts normal and really without much risk?


4. Brian Salinger on OneBarnet Bus Mgmt OSC 24 Oct 2012


Billion Pounds

The total value of the One Barnet contracts is in excess of a Billion Pounds and tie the council into 10 year contracts.

The Council just doesn’t appear to be taking the concerns about the risks seriously by simply stating they can control and hold to account massive multinational companies.

This is why we are calling the OBP a Billion Pound Gamble

We believe that it will lead to

·         Poorer services,

·         Rewarding a contractor for a poorer service,

·         Higher charges for services to residents

·         And sadly massive redundancies for staff as the contractor takes employment out of the borough.

You can read all about One Barnet Programme by clicking on the link here

You can help by supporting the campaign and carry out three simple tasks

1. Sign the Stop One Barnet Petition by clicking on this link  http://petitions.barnet.gov.uk/StopOneBarnet/

2. Join Barnet residents at the One Barnet Question Time meeting on Thursday 8 November at 7 pm. For details of the event click here

3. Pop along to one of the screenings of the film “Barnet – The Billion Pound Gamble” details here http://www.billionpoundgamble.co.uk/

UNISON One Barnet Online Bite size briefings

Barnet UNISON has produced over 40 detailed reports throughout the four year life of the Future Shape/EasyCouncil/One Barnet Programme.

You can view all of our reports and much much more here Since the beginning of September 2012 UNISON branch has been producing a series of ‘bite size briefing for all 63 councillors.

Briefing Number 1 Edinburgh an example of an alternative http://ning.it/NMdRS3

Briefing Number 2 Cornwall Council Joint Venture http://ning.it/PPYy19

Briefing Number 3 on Joint Venture to sue Somerset Council http://ning.it/OonDtD

Briefing Number 4 Street Lighting PFI http://ning.it/QVN0Eo

Briefing Number 5 entitled “What are Joint Ventures?” http://ning.it/QVN3QS

Briefing Number 6 entitled ‘G4S Fiasco’ to all 63 councillors http://ning.it/QVN9bd

Briefing Number 7 – “One Barnet contract monitoring or thin client which is it to be?” http://ning.it/QVNdaV

Briefing Number 8 entitled How Joint Ventures Work http://ning.it/PPYChs

Briefing Number 9 – Regulatory Services & Risk http://ning.it/PPYE99

Briefing Number 10 Graph of Doom or Graph of Fantasy? http://ning.it/PPYEGe

Briefing Number 11 entitled Competitive Dialogue – decision making. http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/sites/default/files/Briefing%20Number%2011%20Competitive%20Dialogue%20’Decision%20taking%20′.pdf

Briefing Number 12 Newcastle “A good model of staff engagement.” http://ning.it/PPYO0a

Briefing Number 13 Benefit Administration & Outsourcing – New Support Customer Services Organisation http://ning.it/QVRfA5

Briefing Number 14 Cornwall Council update http://ning.it/R5iNmF

Briefing Number 15 Strategic Partnerships http://ning.it/Qktbfn

Briefing Number 16 Flexible Contracts http://ning.it/RQvRwm

Briefing Number 17 Alternative 10 Point Plan http://ning.it/RQvMsK

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