One Barnet: a double edged sword for council staff

It seems a life time ago when Barnet was being lauded as a four star council, high performing and low cost compared to other councils in London. It wasn’t long afterwards that the council unveiled the ‘Future Shape’ Council which was replaced by ‘easyCouncil’ modelled on the low cost air line services. This publicity stunt backfired, more money was spent on consultants and now we are stuck with a £1 billion pound gamble named One Barnet.

Our members are committed public servants who have chosen to work in public services because they are proud to serve their local community. Many of our members are also local residents which makes what is happening to them all the more galling as there is a genuine concern the contractors bidding to run Council services will be transferring hundreds of jobs out of the borough. Imagine being made redundant by the council you are paying your council tax to and knowing that the Council has spent up to £25 million on consultants?

In the wake of the recent G4S national scandal our members find it incomprehensible that the council should be taking such a high risk gamble with high profile public services such as Planning, Building Control, Environmental Health and Adult Social Care. How many more examples of privatisation failure must tax payers have to endure before someone realises that in-house services can compete with the private sector.

UNISON has continued to seek a meeting with the Leader of the Council to discuss an alternative to the One Barnet Programme. To date we have still not been able to confirm a time and place. The clock is ticking. We are less than five months away from this council committing itself to £1 billion pounds worth of contracts which will lock in almost 70% of its budget for a minimum of ten years. This is a massive risk for residents as the council will only have direct control of a 30% of its budget. This is a critical risk as the next government spending review will be looking for more savings; with a diminished budget there is a high likelihood there will be increases in council tax and service charges for council services.

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@JuliaHines tweeted link to this page. 2012-07-19 23:23:16 +0100
One Barnet: a double edged sword for council staff via @BetterBarnet
@ mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-07-19 23:21:36 +0100
One Barnet: a double edged sword for council staff via @BetterBarnet
published this page in News 2012-07-19 17:37:00 +0100
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