Monday, October 12, 2009

Is Every Service at Council to be Privatised?

The Liberal Democrats and Trade Union has expressed concern over draft proposals to outsource many services provided by Conservative run Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Althgough the plans are yat to be finalised, the concept is to reduce the Council down to a Core of just 700, with many direct facing services, such as home care and street cleansing to be privatised or delivered in partnership with other orgainsations.

The draft policy document, The Future Council, says: "The future council should be strategic rather than operational - focused on convening and working with its partners to prioritise and commission public services rather than delivering services itself."

Other councils that have gone down this route, services that had been privatised included home care, sheltered housing and social services.

The Conservatives have said the authority needs to make 5% efficiency gains in the coming year. By Privatisation of services savings might indeed be made, but at what cost to delivering services to our residents?

Even between services the holistic approach of being one council does not exist, you only have to look at the fiasco with waste collections and cleansing. If the waste collection team arrives to collect your waste and your bag has been split they leave it to the street cleansing team, but do they think to actually let them know that a mess exists for them to tidy up?