Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Labour Brent's public realm privatisation too high risk for Tory Barnet

Barnet Today LINK is reporting that Barnet Council has decided that the proposed four borough waste, recycling, street cleaning and parks maintenance super contract was 'too high risk' and will approve having the services in-house.

So Labour Brent Council has turned out to be more of a privatiser than right-wing Conservative Barnet Council!  Barnet is presently in turmoil after Cllr Brian Coleman and former London Assembly member was suspended from the national Conservative Party. Coleman is in trouble over alleged racist slurs and an assault.

The Barnet Today report states:
 The council had been exploring the possibility of procuring its waste management services in partnership with Brent Council. But while the neighbouring borough agreed to pursue that avenue earlier this month, Barnet’s council officers ruled that it was too high-risk.

The decision will be seen as a departure from the council’s controversial One Barnet model, which will see a raft services, including planning and customer services contracted to private companies via two outsourcing projects worth around £1billion.

Council leader Richard Cornelius said providing the services in-house represented the best option for driving down costs and improving services.

“The One Barnet programme has always been pragmatic and this was the pragmatic way to go,” he said. “The rubbish collection in this borough is well done. It can be improved but we don’t want to muck it up.”
Brent Council press office today refused to answer my request about the future of the contract on the grounds that I was not an accredited journalist.


trevor said...

well if my understanding is correct Barnet has a high standard when it comes to rubbish collection?
the same cannot be said regards to rubbish collection in Brent.
I can only assume the reason rubbish collection in this borough is so poor is because the council does not want to spend money so it's cheaper to leave it on the streets and green areas?
you make me want to Vomit Brent council....

Anonymous said...

This is a highly misleading interpretation of events.

Barnet currently has the majority of these services in house - which means it is a high risk strategy for them because the outsourcing would face a huge public backlash.

Brent on the other hand has had the vast majority of these services outsourced for many years, meaning it is far less risky for them.

Surely it is Brent Councils responsibility to seek best value for Brent taxpayers, not to pay extra in order to protect Barnet services??

Martin Francis said...

Barnet recycling collection, currently with May Gurney is moving in-house so this represents a change. On the other hand Brent is out-sourcing Parks Maintenance for the first time when its current in-house service is of good quality and contributed to numerous Green Flag awards. How about keeping the Parks in-house and a routine procurement for waste collection, recycling and street cleansing when Veolia's current contract expires, with an option for an in-house bid? The latter may be best value as it does not involve a profit element to go back to the private company.