UNISON presentation on One Barnet

The One Barnet Programme is a serious matter. It involves in excess of Billion Pounds of tax payers money.

Last week UNISON regional secretary Linda Perks wrote to all 63 councillors. UNISON will provide regular updates on who has confirmed they are attending.

UNISON wil be reporting on who respionds and who attends.

To view the letter click here. 

UNISON try very very hard to start a dialogue about One Barnet financial assumptions

Dear Councillor Longstaff

The briefing (to view click here) was not UNISON’s so not mine to edit and I had permission to share it. I took it as a beginning of a dialogue about challenges facing public services as I haven’t read much commentary from anyone in Barnet about the Graph.

Following your comments I have spoken to John Dix and we are both happy to meet with you to discuss about issues raised in his briefing and I am prepared to try and ask Sam Markey if he would like to take part. Interesting you should mention Sam Markey who I had respected. I don’t know if you are aware that he has tweeted on this subject on a number of occasions I would like to quote one of his tweets earlier this year:

“Well, the name is not mine but it has helped it kick-start the debate. V happy for others to challenge and hone the narrative.”

 I do have a very long response as to your question about the timing of the briefing which I am happy to share with all councillors but I would much rather talk about the briefing.

Best wishes

John  

From: Longstaff, Cllr David Conservative [mailto:Cllr.D.Longstaff@Barnet.gov.uk]
Sent: 05 October 2012 10:47
To: John Burgess; Ioannidis, Cllr Andreas Labour; Brodkin, Cllr Alex Labour; Campbell, Cllr Anita Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Alison Conservative; Finn, Cllr Anthony Conservative; Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Hutton, Cllr Anne Labour; Moore, Cllr Alison Labour; Schneiderman, Cllr Alan Labour; Slocombe, Cllr Agnes Labour; Sodha, Cllr Ansuya Labour; Strongolou, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Andreas Conservative; Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative; Evangeli, Cllr Barry Conservative; Gordon, Cllr Brian Conservative; Perry, Cllr Bridget Conservative; Rawlings, Cllr Barry Labour; Salinger, Cllr Brian Conservative; Schama, Cllr Brian Conservative; Farrier Cllr Claire Labour; OMacauley, Cllr Charlie Labour; Rogers, Cllr Colin Labour; Salinger, Cllr Catherine Conservative; Seal, Cllr Daniel Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Yawitch, Cllr Darrel Conservative; Greenspan, Cllr Eva Conservative; Cooke, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Johnson, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Old, Cllr Graham Conservative; Sargeant, Cllr Gill Labour; Hart Cllr Helena Conservative; Rayner, Cllr Hugh Conservative; Cohen, Cllr Jack Liberal Democrat; Hart, Cllr John Conservative; Johnson, Cllr Julie Labour; Marshall, Cllr John Conservative; Scannell, Cllr Joan Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Joanna Conservative; Tierney, Cllr Jim Labour; McGuirk, Cllr Kathy Labour; Rutter, Cllr Lisa Conservative; Braun, Cllr Maureen Conservative; Cohen, Cllr Melvin Conservative; Palmer, Cllr Monroe Liberal Democrat; Shooter, Cllr Mark Conservative; Coakley Webb, Cllr Pauline Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative; Houston, Ross Cllr Labour; Rams, Cllr Robert Conservative; Thompstone, Cllr Reuben Conservative; Turner, Cllr Rowan Conservative; Khatri, Cllr Sury Conservative; Palmer, Cllr Susette Liberal Democrat; Rajput, Cllr Sachin Conservative; Sowerby, Cllr Stephen Conservative; Davey, Cllr Tom Conservative; Prentice, Cllr Wendy Conservative; Zubairi, Cllr Zakia Labour; Mittra, Cllr Arjun Labour
Cc: Laura Butterfield
Subject: RE: Briefing Number 10 Graph of Doom – Fact or Fantasy

Dear John Burgess,

You deride the title of the graph and write the comment about ‘reinforces a negative image of older adults’. Please explain how you came to this conclusion when the graph is about Council expenditure, it’s about Children and Adult Social services. It’s not solely about a population living longer and costing more.

I notice you wait until Sam Markey, who produced the graph, has left before sending out this briefing, which restricts his opportunity to defend his work.

Regards,
Cllr. David Longstaff

PS You can also supply the ‘sniff test’ to Unions


From: John Burgess [mailto:john.burgess@BarnetUnison.org.uk]
Sent: 05 October 2012 10:13
To: Ioannidis, Cllr Andreas Labour; Brodkin, Cllr Alex Labour; Campbell, Cllr Anita Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Alison Conservative; Finn, Cllr Anthony Conservative; Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Hutton, Cllr Anne Labour; Moore, Cllr Alison Labour; Schneiderman, Cllr Alan Labour; Slocombe, Cllr Agnes Labour; Sodha, Cllr Ansuya Labour; Strongolou, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Andreas Conservative; Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative; Evangeli, Cllr Barry Conservative; Gordon, Cllr Brian Conservative; Perry, Cllr Bridget Conservative; Rawlings, Cllr Barry Labour; Salinger, Cllr Brian Conservative; Schama, Cllr Brian Conservative; Farrier Cllr Claire Labour; OMacauley, Cllr Charlie Labour; Rogers, Cllr Colin Labour; Salinger, Cllr Catherine Conservative; Longstaff, Cllr David Conservative; Seal, Cllr Daniel Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Yawitch, Cllr Darrel Conservative; Greenspan, Cllr Eva Conservative; Cooke, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Johnson, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Old, Cllr Graham Conservative; Sargeant, Cllr Gill Labour; Hart Cllr Helena Conservative; Rayner, Cllr Hugh Conservative; Cohen, Cllr Jack Liberal Democrat; Hart, Cllr John Conservative; Johnson, Cllr Julie Labour; Marshall, Cllr John Conservative; Scannell, Cllr Joan Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Joanna Conservative; Tierney, Cllr Jim Labour; McGuirk, Cllr Kathy Labour; Rutter, Cllr Lisa Conservative; Braun, Cllr Maureen Conservative; Cohen, Cllr Melvin Conservative; Palmer, Cllr Monroe Liberal Democrat; Shooter, Cllr Mark Conservative; Coakley Webb, Cllr Pauline Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative; Houston, Ross Cllr Labour; Rams, Cllr Robert Conservative; Thompstone, Cllr Reuben Conservative; Turner, Cllr Rowan Conservative; Khatri, Cllr Sury Conservative; Palmer, Cllr Susette Liberal Democrat; Rajput, Cllr Sachin Conservative; Sowerby, Cllr Stephen Conservative; Davey, Cllr Tom Conservative; Prentice, Cllr Wendy Conservative; Zubairi, Cllr Zakia Labour; Mittra, Cllr Arjun Labour
Cc: Laura Butterfield
Subject: Briefing Number 10 Graph of Doom – Fact or Fantasy
Importance: High

Dear Councillors

Today I am submitting a briefing put together by a Barnet resident who very much cares like all of you about the borough and I know wants to work with the Council to make it a better place.

Some of you may know him as John Dix and others as Mr Reasonable.

The briefing below tackles an issue often quoted by councillors as the reason for the One Barnet Programme. I have heard councillors mention the ‘Graph of Doom’ to me many times.

I am referring to what has become nationally known as the ‘Graph of Doom’. Whilst I do not like the title as it reinforces a negative image of older adults, I think the Council must be applauded for bringing the issue of funding for older people to the national media attention.  If the issue of ‘Fairer Funding’ as identified in Dilnot report is going to be addressed it is going to have to happen at a national level and all political parties are going to have to come to an agreement.

The ‘Graph of Doom’ as probably many of you know was based on a whole set of assumptions. Unfortunately, until now nobody seems to have challenged these assumptions.

I would urge all of you to read this briefing.  

Link to the Dilnot Report: http://www.dilnotcommission.dh.gov.uk/our-report/

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

Best wishes

John Burgess

Branch Secretary.

Barnet UNISON

What would Shakespeare make of One Barnet? – JV, or not JV, that is the question:

 Many of us are familiar with the following

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer

The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,

Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,”

but no so familiar with the One Barnet influence

“JV, or not JV, that is the question:

Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind of councillors to suffer

The Slings (poor performance) and Arrows (no savings) of outrageous failure of One Barnet Programme,

Or to support your staff, your in-house services”

Briefing Number 7 – “One Barnet contract monitoring or thin client which is it to be?”

Dear Councillors

 

Please find enclosed Briefing Number 7 entitled “One Barnet contract monitoring or thin client which is it to be?” (To view click here)

 

Whether the Council is considering a Strategic Outsourcing or a Joint Venture, it still needs to have in place a robust means of not only monitoring the contracts but being able to ensure compliance.

 

To view a more detailed briefing please click here.

 

I hope you will take time to read our briefings, furthermore if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Best wishes

John Burgess

Branch Secretary.

Barnet UNISON

The Joint Venture One Barnet saga continues

Hi Dan

I am genuinely trying to understand what is going on. In response to what you have said is it your understanding that the council is asking the Bidders to submit two different solutions one for a JV and one for a straight contract? 

Finally for the sake of transparency can you ensure that senior officers provide UNISON with a copy of the procedure and the basis on which officers will evaluate bids in order to make a final recommendation to members?  All of this will have been predetermined and made clear in the contract documentation and should not be a matter of commercial confidentiality.  

Best wishes

John  

From: Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative [mailto:Cllr.Thomas@Barnet.gov.uk]
Sent: 21 September 2012 12:41
To: John Burgess; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative
Cc: l.butterfield@unison.co.uk; Ioannidis, Cllr Andreas Labour; Brodkin, Cllr Alex Labour; Campbell, Cllr Anita Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Alison Conservative; Finn, Cllr Anthony Conservative; Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Hutton, Cllr Anne Labour; Moore, Cllr Alison Labour; Schneiderman, Cllr Alan Labour; Slocombe, Cllr Agnes Labour; Sodha, Cllr Ansuya Labour; Strongolou, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Andreas Conservative; Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative; Evangeli, Cllr Barry Conservative; Gordon, Cllr Brian Conservative; Perry, Cllr Bridget Conservative; Rawlings, Cllr Barry Labour; Salinger, Cllr Brian Conservative; Schama, Cllr Brian Conservative; Farrier Cllr Claire Labour; OMacauley, Cllr Charlie Labour; Rogers, Cllr Colin Labour; Salinger, Cllr Catherine Conservative; Longstaff, Cllr David Conservative; Seal, Cllr Daniel Conservative; Yawitch, Cllr Darrel Conservative; Greenspan, Cllr Eva Conservative; Cooke, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Johnson, Cllr Geoffrey Labour
Subject: Re: Is the Council recommending a Joint Venture or a Strategic Partnership for DRS ?

 
Dear John,

As I’m quoted in this I feel compelled to respond.

The position is quite clear.

The outcome of the competitive dialogue has not been presented to members therefore no formal recommendation has yet been made to us – that will happen in due course.
Officers, in an effort to keep staff and members updated, have confirmed that the dialogue is pursuing a joint venture option and at this stage that is the officers’ preferred option. As you know, officers advise, members decide.

The Leader has stated he remains to be convinced about a JV and rightly so given that members have not yet seen a proposal.

This does not contradict my quote in the paper that I would not be surprised if a joint venture was the final outcome – it is one of only a few options when engaging the private sector to run services! I did not say a JV is definitely on the cards (although the paper in its commentary tried to imply that).

Kind regards,

Cllr Daniel Thomas

Finchley Church End Ward

Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance

London Borough of Barnet


From: John Burgess
To: Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative
Cc: Laura Butterfield ; Ioannidis, Cllr Andreas Labour; Brodkin, Cllr Alex Labour; Campbell, Cllr Anita Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Alison Conservative; Finn, Cllr Anthony Conservative; Harper, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Hutton, Cllr Anne Labour; Moore, Cllr Alison Labour; Schneiderman, Cllr Alan Labour; Slocombe, Cllr Agnes Labour; Sodha, Cllr Ansuya Labour; Strongolou, Cllr Andrew Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Andreas Conservative; Coleman, Cllr Brian Conservative; Evangeli, Cllr Barry Conservative; Gordon, Cllr Brian Conservative; Perry, Cllr Bridget Conservative; Rawlings, Cllr Barry Labour; Salinger, Cllr Brian Conservative; Schama, Cllr Brian Conservative; Farrier Cllr Claire Labour; OMacauley, Cllr Charlie Labour; Rogers, Cllr Colin Labour; Salinger, Cllr Catherine Conservative; Longstaff, Cllr David Conservative; Seal, Cllr Daniel Conservative; Thomas, Daniel Cllr Conservative; Yawitch, Cllr Darrel Conservative; Greenspan, Cllr Eva Conservative; Cooke, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Johnson, Cllr Geoffrey Labour; Old, Cllr Graham Conservative; Sargeant, Cllr Gill Labour; Hart Cllr Helena Conservative; Rayner, Cllr Hugh Conservative; Cohen, Cllr Jack Liberal Democrat; Hart, Cllr John Conservative; Johnson, Cllr Julie Labour; Marshall, Cllr John Conservative; Scannell, Cllr Joan Conservative; Tambourides, Cllr Joanna Conservative; Tierney, Cllr Jim Labour; McGuirk, Cllr Kathy Labour; Rutter, Cllr Lisa Conservative; Braun, Cllr Maureen Conservative; Cohen, Cllr Melvin Conservative; Palmer, Cllr Monroe Liberal Democrat; Shooter, Cllr Mark Conservative; Coakley Webb, Cllr Pauline Labour; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative; Houston, Ross Cllr Labour; Rams, Cllr Robert Conservative; Thompstone, Cllr Reuben Conservative; Turner, Cllr Rowan Conservative; Khatri, Cllr Sury Conservative; Palmer, Cllr Susette Liberal Democrat; Rajput, Cllr Sachin Conservative; Sowerby, Cllr Stephen Conservative; Davey, Cllr Tom Conservative; Prentice, Cllr Wendy Conservative; Zubairi, Cllr Zakia Labour; Mittra, Cllr Arjun Labour
Sent: Fri Sep 21 11:39:33 2012
Subject: Is the Council recommending a Joint Venture or a Strategic Partnership for DRS ?

Dear Richard  

As you know I attended the Special Meeting, Budget and Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee where I listened in amazement to the discussion as to whether a JV had been recommended. I could not believe what I hearing when the Chair asked if any of the councillors had seen the emails and no one admitted they had.   

I am enclosing the emails attachments.  

For some reason the councillors at the Special Meeting, Budget and Performance Overview and Scrutiny Committee seem unaware of a series of events which has brought the issue of a Joint Venture to the attention of councillors, staff and residents. For the sake of transparency and equally important scrutiny I want to refer you back to August 2012 where a number of communications were issued:  

1. “As a result we have decided to form a Joint Venture organisation with the successful bidder, which provides an effective basis on which the Council can benefit from these opportunities and at the same time it gives the Council greater rights of transparency and control.” 

(Email communication sent to all staff in DRS 17 August 2012) 

2. Barnet Press: “However, Daniel Thomas, deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, said that a joint venture had always been an option for the officers and would give the council more control over the DRS.  

He pointed out that Barnet would be the first council to outsource its regulatory services and officers needed to be cautious. “We are talking about creating a new model for outsourcing,” he said.  

It doesn’t surprise me that the first vendor for this service would be a shared organisation. It gives the council more control.” 

(Barnet Press 23 August 2012 http://www.barnet-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=29165&searchword=thomas) 

3. “DRS Joint Venture proposal – Staff Update  

Following my DRS fortnightly email last week I have set out further details on the joint venture below:- 

What is the decision making process around the joint venture? 

The joint venture has been an option considered by the project Board over the last 2 years and has featured in the options appraisal and business case.  Although initially our preference was for a Strategic Partnership, the JV has developed as a progressively more attractive option following detailed discussions with bidders.  As a result the project Board recommended to Corporate Directors Group that this be formally advanced in discussions with bidders and indeed is currently our preferred option.  

(Email communication sent to all DRS staff 24 August 2012) 

4. On 23 August, I attended a meeting with the DRS senior management. I specifically asked if the reports were true about the recommendation for a Joint Venture option. I was very clearly told the Council was recommending a Joint Venture model for service delivery.  

At the Budget Overview & Scrutiny Committee 19 September 2012, Agenda Item 8 it was made very clear to all councillors that there was no recommendation for a Joint Venture. I was there and have reviewed the video footage very carefully, which is available to view here http://youtu.be/JZRJIIwjfd0 

I left that meeting absolutely clear the Joint Venture issue was not being recommended and so informed my members of this decision.  

Yesterday (20 September 2012) your staff were being informed by senior officers that the JV option is still on. Furthermore the IMPOWER consultant confirmed that the Bidders have been told that their detailed solution must include a JV approach.  

I now have no idea as to who or what to believe. I would welcome confirmation as to what option is being recommended to the Bidders.  

Best wishes

John Burgess

Branch Secretary.

Barnet UNISON

Breaking news One Barnet rejects Joint Venture for DRS

Dear Colleagues

Yesterday I submitted questions on the Joint Venture proposals for DRS and I promised to report back on the answers today.  

I have attended hundreds of council meetings and seen many things in my time as Branch Secretary, but last night I was genuinely shocked. Last night the Leader was asked by the Chair of the committee for his views about the Joint Venture for DRS. He denied ever seeing a case for a JV. A number of us in the public gallery nearly fell off our seats. So he was asked several times by Labour councillors to clarify as to whether the Council were recommending a Joint Venture to the Bidders and each time the resounding answer was no.  

Eventually the Chair was asked by one of the Labour councillors as to why the staff had been informed the Council was recommending a Joint Venture. What happened next was the Chair denied he had seen such an email and turned to his colleagues and checked with them and they all agreed they had not seen this email.  You don’t have to believe my report because this is all very soon gone to be available for everyone to watch on You Tube. If members want to get an idea of what took place last night I would suggest you Google the “Monty Python Dead Parrot” because the Joint Venture is dead.  

UNISON is not allowed to speak at these meetings but I had the emails on my phone and I would like everyone to take a look at the quotes below.  

1. “As a result we have decided to form a Joint Venture organisation with the successful bidder, which provides an effective basis on which the Council can benefit from these opportunities and at the same time it gives the Council greater rights of transparency and control.  What this means is that the successful bidder and the Council will form a new organisation in which both have an interest.  This new organisation will then contract with the Council to provide the DRS services.  The Joint Venture approach does not change the approach to TUPE of staff or weaken any of the commitments given – staff would TUPE into the new organisation rather than to the commercial partner.  We shall provide further information on the Joint Venture in the next week however as ever you are welcome to ask any questions you may have regarding this or other elements of the DRS procurement” (17 August 2012) 

2. “However, Daniel Thomas, deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, said that a joint venture had always been an option for the officers and would give the council more control over the DRS.

He pointed out that Barnet would be the first council to outsource its regulatory services and officers needed to be cautious. “We are talking about creating a new model for outsourcing,” he said.

It doesn’t surprise me that the first vendor for this service would be a shared organisation. It gives the council more control.”

(Barnet Press 23 August http://www.barnet-today.co.uk/news.cfm?id=29165&searchword=thomas) 

 3. “DRS Joint Venture proposal – Staff Update

Following my DRS fortnightly email last week I have set out further details on the joint venture below:-

What is the decision making process around the joint venture?

The joint venture has been an option considered by the project Board over the last 2 years and has featured in the options appraisal and business case.  Although initially our preference was for a Strategic Partnership, the JV has developed as a progressively more attractive option following detailed discussions with bidders.  As a result the project Board recommended to Corporate Directors Group that this be formally advanced in discussions with bidders and indeed is currently our preferred option.  Following evaluation the final option, along with the preferred bidder, will be presented as a recommendation to Cabinet in the New Year. Cabinet will then take the final decision on whether to award the contract, the preferred bidder and the joint venture approach.

What does the joint venture approach mean in practice?

A new organisation would be formed by the Council and the successful bidder.  The Council would have a minority interest in this organisation and would appoint a small number of individuals to the senior management team of the new organisation.  This organisation would then contract with the Council to provide the DRS services.

Does this reduce any of my TUPE rights?

No.  In scope staff would TUPE into the joint venture organisation, and this would be on the same conditions as have been previously set out.  The obligations of the joint venture organisation would be backed up by the successful bidder’s parent company.

Who would my employer be?

The joint venture organisation.” (23 August 2012)

Including in the above is also a statement in the local press by the Deputy leader supporting the Joint venture, yet last night it was if this had never been said. On 23 August, I attended a meeting with the DRS senior management, I asked if the the reports were true and I was very clearly told the Council was recomending a Joint Venture model for service delivery.

I am sure that many of you will not believe what you are reading and I await with interest the DRS weekly message.

Straight after the meeting I approached the Leader to express my concern.

More to report tomorrow.

Final Reminder UNISON lunchtime meeting Tuesday 25 September12 noon  Conference Room 1 – lunch provided.

Best wishes

John Burgess

Branch Secretary.

Barnet UNISON

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