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Suffolk County Council To Outsource All Of Its Services

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11398678

A county council has agreed to slash its £1.1bn budget by 30% by outsourcing almost all its services.

The decision by Suffolk County Council could be seen as model for other councils to follow.

Under the New Strategic Direction almost all council services will be offloaded to social enterprises or companies over the next few years.

Unions have warned the plan puts a huge number of the council's 27,000 jobs at risk.

The aim is to turn the authority from one which provides public services itself, to an enabling council which commissions other to carry out the services.

It could eventually see the council's workforce slimmed down to just a few hundred people who would manage the contracts.

'Lesser government'

Council leader Jeremy Pembroke said: "This decision was made with consideration to the financial deficit in the public sector and the coalition government's priority to reduce the deficit and the size of the state.

"The coalition requires lesser government and a bigger society and Suffolk County Council has responded to this change.

"Now that full council has debated the issue and agreed with the future model for the county council, we can begin to talk with the people of Suffolk so they can be involved in the shaping of services for the future."

Local councils across the country are trying to find way to save billions as part of the coalition government's drive to cut the deficit. Some councils are considering sharing services.

The plan by the Conservative-controlled county would be the first time a local authority would ended up providing virtually no services directly itself and will be watched closely by other councils looking to make savings.

The union Unison had written to every councillor asking them to think about the impact that scaling back would have on people and the services they rely on.

Unison's Steve Warner said morale was low among members working for the council and they were very concerned about the future of services in the county, particularly those affecting the very young, older people and those with learning disabilities.

He said: "Those are the services that we are worried about. We're worried that the councillors will have less control over those services and that the people of Suffolk will find that those services are less accountable to them."

Some services could be outsourced later this year with others in three phases starting in April 2011.

Analysis

Greg Wood

Local Government Correspondent, BBC News

Outsourcing by councils is nothing new.

In fact, a whole new private industry has been created over the past two decades delivering vital services, like rubbish collection and recycling, on behalf of local authorities.

What's different about Suffolk County Council is the scale of the proposed change - even sensitive services like child protection could be privatised - and the speed: Divestment is expected to be completed within four years.

The main public concern will be one of accountability. Councillors will no longer be directly responsible for the delivery of public services to the community which elected them.

Thirty years ago a Conservative minister Nicholas Ridley praised the style of local authorities in the American Mid-West where they "met once a year to award all the council service contracts to private firms".

Today, Suffolk County Council has brought that vision a little bit closer.

Will they end up saving 30%? I doubt it..

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Not a fecking chance. And some of the senior council employees will take cushy jobs in the private sector service providers.

Nothing changes.

Hmmm... should a private company be setup in order to make a profit on homeless services or children's services for instance? although I can perhaps see the case for a relevant non-profit making organisation / charity controlling these services...

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Hmmm... should a private company be setup in order to make a profit on homeless services or children's services for instance? although I can perhaps see the case for a relevant non-profit making organisation / charity controlling these services...

A profit is a reward for services, and covers, running costs, borrowing costs, infrastructure costs, and makes possible future investment in the services.

Maybe a PFI would be more appropriate...or not.

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A profit is a reward for services, and covers, running costs, borrowing costs, infrastructure costs, and makes possible future investment in the services.

Maybe a PFI would be more appropriate...or not.

A4e

http://watchinga4e.blogspot.com/2009/07/a4e-company-that-doesnt-like-criticism.html

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If I buy a bag of 6 apples for £1.50, but I want to save money, I go to this council's outsourcer do I?

I now magically pay £1.00, because they get them for 50p and charge me a quid, and take 50p profit.

So why didn't I actually just get them for 50p in the first place?

No wait for it, I only get 2 apples. But for £1.

Yet another scam on the stupid public.

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Outsourcing can only save costs one way.

Sacking expensive internal staff and hiring staff somewhere cheaper... probably in the far east.

If all councils follow suit, the unemployment will be unimaginable.

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Outsourcing can only save costs one way.

Sacking expensive internal staff and hiring staff somewhere cheaper... probably in the far east.

If all councils follow suit, the unemployment will be unimaginable.

surely government services are "hands on"...not sure you can download a nurse, or a meal on a wheel.

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Now if they could only make it optional whether you have to buy these services they'd be getting somewhere...... but they won't so there's no difference, except an end to local government management.

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Now if they could only make it optional whether you have to buy these services they'd be getting somewhere...... but they won't so there's no difference, except an end to local government management.

...sort of a form that plops on your mat...do you want refuse collection YES/NO, do you want the Police YES/NO, etc..

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surely government services are "hands on"...not sure you can download a nurse, or a meal on a wheel.

I've never downloaded a nurse but I know a mate who gets them this way, private sector and great service apparently

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Outsourcing can only save costs one way.

Sacking expensive internal staff and hiring staff somewhere cheaper... probably in the far east.

If all councils follow suit, the unemployment will be unimaginable.

Well so far a private prediction says 4 million by the end of 2013 without adding on the unemployed from this council`s plans. ;)

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=151530&pid=2720911&st=0entry2720911

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Outsourcing can only save costs one way.

Sacking expensive internal staff and hiring staff somewhere cheaper... probably in the far east.

If all councils follow suit, the unemployment will be unimaginable.

Not if the current Council provide a good service for a good price

Nope...you're right....they are knackered

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...sort of a form that plops on your mat...do you want refuse collection YES/NO, do you want the Police YES/NO, etc..

Yes.

I can easily see me ticking "No" to the refuse collection.

Maybe even a "No" to the Diversity Support Team, although that's being bold.

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Yes.

I can easily see me ticking "No" to the refuse collection.

Maybe even a "No" to the Diversity Support Team, although that's being bold.

You mean you can cope without diversity support

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It could eventually see the council's workforce slimmed down to just a few hundred people who would manage the contracts.

how many hundred staff do you need to manage contracts and shuffle paper around?

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Outsourcing can only save costs one way.

Sacking expensive internal staff and hiring staff somewhere cheaper... probably in the far east.

If all councils follow suit, the unemployment will be unimaginable.

Hell of a commute to empty the recycling bins tho'

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It could eventually see the council's workforce slimmed down to just a few hundred people who would manage the contracts.

how many hundred staff do you need to manage contracts and shuffle paper around?

Place I worked outsourced IT to HAL and an Indian company.

Nearly all the "sacked" (spelt massively paid off) managers are back in place because of the increase in processes and paperwork required to make the thing function in a completely bureaucratic way.

If you are in IT, get yourself down to a Relationship Management course as quick as you can. <shudder>

Edit to add: This ain't no public sector place.

Edited by bobthe~

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Now if they could only make it optional whether you have to buy these services they'd be getting somewhere...... but they won't so there's no difference, except an end to local government management.

Agreed, suffering again from Adam Smith's idealistic interpretation, politics is democracy is like ping pong between extremes. Or the extremism of badly brought up children, deepen like a coastal shelf these things ?

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Is this £1.1bn saving just in salaries, or does it also factor in the pensions these people would have enjoyed too.

I'd imagine cutting the workforce will save the government a fortune in pensions.

I'd also be very interested to see whether those replacement workers doing identical jobs will take the same number of days off sick

Edited by exiges

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