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26 November 2012
GMB condemns Barnet Council for giving £320m contract to Capita which moves 250 local jobs to Carlisle, Belfast, Bromley and Southampton
GMB calls upon the council to rethink the decision and suspend the One Barnet programme and look at an in-house option as they have done with Street Scene services
GMB, the union for public services, has criticised the decision of Barnet Council to outsource the New Support Customer Services Organisation (NSCSO) contract to private company Capita with the loss of up to 500 local jobs. The contract is estimated to be worth up to £320 million and it involves local council jobs includes HR, Information Services, IT, Finance, Revenue and Benefits, Estates and Procurement.
GMB is warning that the Barnet economy could lose still more local jobs. This will happen if the council also rejects the in-house bids for the Development & Regulatory Services (DRS) contract which is due to be awarded on 8th January 2013 to either the in-house Barnet bid or private company Capita Symonds. That contract is reported to be worth up to £275 million pounds and it involves approximately 300 local council jobs in Trading Standards & Licensing, Land Charges, Planning & Development, Building Control & Structures, Environmental Health, Highways Strategy, Highways Network Management, Highways Traffic & Development, Highways Transport & Regeneration, Strategic Planning & Regeneration, Cemeteries & Crematoria.
Keith Williams, GMB Senior Organiser for Barnet said,
“GMB is appalled that Barnet Council has announced that Capita are the recommended preferred bidder for a contract worth £320m. As part of their business case Capita is proposing to move many hundreds of jobs from Barnet to as far afield as Carlisle, Belfast, Bromley and Southampton.
This will not only have a devastating effect on over 250 members of staff and their families who will be put out of work, but also on the Borough of Barnet that they work and care for. As well as increasing the jobless in the borough it will mean years of knowledge and expertise of the local environment will be lost in services such as Revenues and Benefits, Customer Service and Human Resources, to name but a few.
This will have an impact on the quality of services delivered. When the people of Barnet call the council l to report vandalism or fly tipping you will be speaking to someone in the north of England or elsewhere who has likely never been to Barnet and has no local knowledge of the area. This is just a small example of the local knowledge that will be lost as School HR services will relocate to Carlisle and be providing advice to Schools hundreds of miles away.
GMB believe this is a devastating blow to Local council services and brings to reality the fears that GMB and many local residents have warned about.
GMB calls upon the council to rethink the decision and suspend the One Barnet programme and look at an in-house option as they have done with Street Scene services.
Staff within a council should hold as much knowledge about the local environment and services which can be used to make savings and improve services within Barnet.
Barnet Council has said if this contract fails in three years they can bring it back in house but GMB knows this will be almost impossible as the knowledge and the staff are being sold off and shipped out Barnet. It is not too late to stop this madness and rethink the One Barnet programme.”