Guest article: Unison’s John Burgess on Barnet #KickOutCapita campaign – and new video

Barnet council has already brought some services back in-house. Unions are calling for more.

On Monday 1 April 2019 Capita staff working in Strategic Human Resources (HR) and Finance services returned back in-house.

But this is was just the start.

Barnet UNISON is part of the #KickOutCapita campaign which is lobbying the 7 Tory councillors of the Policy and Resources Committee to do the right thing by terminating the two big Capita contracts.

Big promises were made that there would be savings and better services.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We are in the sixth year of the two contracts and Barnet Council has already paid over £134 million pounds more than they were contracted to pay.

Whilst in-house services are struggling to survive cut after cut, Capita continues to take the money.

It was only when new broke of a serious fraud committed by a Capita employee (circa £2.1 million) that a serious forensic review of both contracts was commissioned. Big Four Audit company KPMG produced a damning report.

Council under fire over contractor’s £2m fraud

On Monday 17 June 7 Tory councillors will decide whether to dump Capita and bring back Highway and Regeneration services in-house.

Capita runs Barnet Council Highways services and they are not doing a good job hence our Pothole music video:

We’re #Pothole crazy here in #Barnet that’s why we want Barnet Council to #KickOutCapita and bring back Highways & Regeneration services on 17 June Please share widely help us “KickOutCapita”!

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  1. Privatisation is such a crock of shit I find it hard to believe anyone outside Tory Central falls for it.
    The idea that managers in private industry are more efficient than those in public services is patently false – they’re the same people with the same education and the same qualifications.
    Take refuse collection. The only area for savings is worker wages. Vehicles cost the same, so does fuel, servicing and every other purchase – if the same service is provided and wages stay the same there’s no room for profit so wages, conditions and the service itself are reduced.
    Same with every other privatisation – based on falsehood, mired in fraud and corruption and of no benefit to anyone but directors, shareholders and ex-MP’s.

    1. You’ve summed it up very well, blog fredds ! All those cynically bogus promises about privatised utilities and contracted out public services made to us from the 1980’s onwards , as the propaganda cover for the Reagan/Thatcher-led neoliberal offensive across the Western nations , but starting in the USA and UK. “Cheaper but better” they said ! That’s what happens when the entire careerist political elite of our supposed “democracies, have been bought , body and soul, by Big Business. And still the corrupt, careerist, majority in the Commons work night and day to destroy Jeremy Corbyn and our Left-oriented Party , in order to get back to “business as usual”.

      1. It would almost be funny if it hadn’t such a hold on Brexiters’ minds – the belief that the EU is “The Hive” of neoliberalism – when in truth it’s here and in the US.

        Membership of the EU is the only thing that would stop the US using the same blackmail, economic warfare and threats of military action against a Corbyn socialist government that it’s using against Venezuela.

        My assumption’s always been that South American alliances haven’t prospered largely because of US dirty tricks but, as membership of the EU increases our weight on the world stage, so a strong alliance of South American states would increase theirs and their mutual safety.

        It’s a shame that the “make Britain great again” delusion is causing us to throw away our armour and shield.
        It’s an even bigger shame that incompetrump seems about to drive Venezuela into the arms of Russia.

    2. Absolutely. What is often touted as ‘efficiency’ is actually ‘cost transfer’. That is essentially what wage cuts are. Similarly, the ‘efficiencies’ of curbside rubbish collection (which I’m not arguing against in terms of other rationales) was actually a transfer of cost to the public.

      I was a member of a Council in the early Blair years, and I vividly recall the Authority being pressured to ‘outsource’ its care homes. The propaganda and pressure was immense. Of course – it didn’t work, but the envoys from Labour central claimed that it was a magic solution.

      One of the ironies of the current article is that the ‘Big Four’ (see KPMG’s role) always win and walk away with their boots filled.

    3. Sorry, that was me – once in a while I forget to change it to my name instead of that blog fredds default.
      I used refuse collection as my example because a relative who lived in Spain told me refuse collection was daily, even in the very rural area where she lived.
      Now it is a hot country and leaving refuse lying around for a couple of days might have unpleasant consequences so the impetus is there – but they’re part of the EU, subject to the same rules we are and they manage daily collections eight miles from the nearest village.
      I believe they’re moving to fortnightly collections in some places in the UK?

  2. Yes this is what happens when Neo-Liberal ideology has captured the Tory Party and you end up with the likes of Grenfell.

  3. Here in Norfolk we’ve had fortnightly bin collections for years,services being cut to the core.

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