5/12/2009

The true cost of "Tory Dogma" over common sense when it comes to privatising council services

The "big thing" for Tory councils at the moment is to try and make out that they are attempting to save money for tax payers by privatising and outsourcing services that most people would consider to be essential core council jobs. However, it is far from clear if this ever saves money, and in the long term it can cost council tax payers considerably more.

Take for example Broadland District Council who privatised and farmed out their legal services jobs a few years ago ? Do they pay less now ? Do they hell. One Broadland Councillor told me that they now pay tens of thousands more now for legal advice than they used to when it was in house. On top of that, access to legal people for informal chats in council offices, often an important way for councillors to gather information, is no longer possible.

So why is the relevant ? Apparently some Norfolk councils and Essex County Council are also privatising core services too. What will be the benefits given the example of Broadland Council ? Probably none, and possible it might be detrimental, not only to the council coffers but also to local democracy. But it will allow the Tories to make out they are doing something.

The problem is though that certain core services that some councils want to push out to private companies involve highly trained staff with lots of qualifications who actually work for less than the market rate in order to work in local government. Whilst a lot of these people can be transferred across at these lower wages, they will, working in the private sector, inevitably have to be paid the market rate sooner or later and, as a result, it costs more in the long term to get them to do the job as private sector employees.

But who cares. It the electorate will buy in to the idea of making cuts and privatising, isn't that all that matters ?

3 comments:

Irene said...

I agree.

Oranjepan said...

Some of the examples of 'savings' really take my breathe away - In Wokingham the tory council decided to 'save' £60k by removing several hundred dog poo bins... which resulted in ordinary litter bins being used for this purpose and ordinary litter being disposed of on the ground... estimates for street cleaning have rocketed!

Now Wokingham are pushing to close all public conveniences and pay shops (£700) to open their loos to the public. The shops are saying they will have to employ security guards and the sums do not nearly cover the costs...

But Wokingham has the third lowest crime rate in the country, so we should be thankful...

Anonymous said...

or swindon get rid of speed cameras
on civil liberties

save money

only one side effect

the number of children killed and injured has gone

still a good price to pay

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