Monday 13 March 2017

Duffy forces Council U-turn on out-sourcing

Following recent controversy about the Kingdom littering contract, including the Scrutiny Committee discussion from which the public were excluded and the revelation that no formal minutes existed for the original contract meeting between officers and Kingdom LINK, it appears that Cllr John Duffy may have achieved a break-through, forcing a re-think by the lead member and Cabinet.

I understand that following Duffy's production of figures showing that an in-house solution would offer better value for money than the Kingdom contract, that this is now likely to happen.

Duffy has maintained that the original Cabinet decision to out-source the contract wasted over £100,000 of the environmental budget at a time when council finance was under pressure from government cuts.  Duffy challenged the Cabinet's claim that Kingdom paid the London Living Wage and it does now appear that the company was not LLW accredited and that rates are far below those for similar officers directly employed in the public sector.

In an interchange earlier in the Scrutiny meeting Duffy quoted 73 fly-tipping fines versus 4,000 fixed penalty, notices mainly for dropping fag ends. Cllr Southwood said the proportion of FPNs for fag ends had been reduced to nearer 60% after talks with Kingdom. Cllr Duffy claimed that this was still still out of balance. An Environment Department officer claimed it was more difficult than people might think to get admissable evidence on the perpetrator of  fly-tipping. Even if addressed letters were found inside black bags you still had to prove the addressee was responsible for the fly-tipping.

The figures suggest that Duffy has been vindicated and that an in-house service will not only produce a better service and value for money for council tax payers but that workers involved will secure  better pay and conditions.


Kensal Green said...

Well done John. Keep this up and we'll be able to tell the difference between Labour and the Tories.

Philip Grant said...

Cllr. Duffy has set an example that I hope more of his back-bench Labour colleagues will follow.

Councillors are supposed to be elected to serve the best interests of the people of Brent, not just to keep quiet, pick up their £10,000 a year allowances and rubber-stamp the decisions of the Council Leader and his Cabinet.


Scott said...

Duffy, the only Labour member who understands the value of money. Keep it up.