Barnet council recommends backing in-house bid

The struggle against privatisation in the north London borough of Barnet has taken a big leap forward, after the council’s cabinet was handed a recommendation to support the One Barnet in-house street scene project.

On 7 November, Barnet council cabinet resources committee will meet to consider the recommendation.

The project includes the following services:

  • refuse, organic waste and recycling collections;
  • waste strategy;
  • street cleaning;
  • green spaces;
  • highways operational team.

Earlier this month, the Barnet Press reported that “Brent council executive committee passed proposals to outsource its ‘public realm’ services – waste collection, street cleaning and ground maintenance – in tandem with Barnet council as part of its One Council programme.”

But this new decision to support the in-house services signals a clear change of direction for Barnet council, which is currently implementing a policy known as the One Barnet programme, sometimes referred to as the ‘commissioning council’.

UNISON branch secretary John Burgess said: “This is fantastic news for residents and 700 council workers delivering these services.

“I want to take the opportunity to applaud the council for at last recognising the potential of in-house services to be able to compete with the private sector.”

And Mr Burgess added: “We are now calling for the council to halt the current outsourcing plans for the two contracts, which are worth in excess of a billion pounds of public money.

“We are asking for the council to work with staff, unions and the community to develop efficient, innovative services for Barnet residents and ensure savings go back into the pockets of the council tax payers.”

Find out more here

UNISON Greater London

UNISON in local government

You can also follow developments on Twitter @barnet_unison.