Barnet council cabinet set for crucial meeting

Tomorrow, Barnet council’s cabinet committee is set to decide on whether to outsource approximately 540 jobs to multinational company Capita – with major concerns and questions hanging over the entire process.

The committee will be voting on whether to export local jobs to Banstead, Belfast, Blackburn, Bromley, Carlisle, Darwen, Sheffield, Swindon, Southampton.

UNISON has raised serious concerns about the economic implications of losing local jobs and the knock-on impact on local residents and small businesses.

The union is also concerned about the deliverability of the financial savings and the implications for council tax and other services, and has pointed out numerous examples of how these deals often fail to deliver (such as in Somerset).

The council claims to have learnt lessons, yet a recent scrutiny committee meeting saw two Conservative councillors raising serious doubts about the quality of the research that had been done.

UNISON branch secretary John Burgess said: “The cabinet committee are going to rubberstamp this decision, which UNISON believes is a bad deal for tax payers of Barnet.

“The council is gambling on a high-risk strategy which has not worked elsewhere. Other councils are bringing services back in-house in order to have more control over their spend.

“In the last month, we have learnt from figures published via the council’s website that, in total, the bill for One Barnet advice in October alone was £1,099,413.22 or £47,800 every single working day. This is political dogma gone mad.”

Find out more at Barnet UNISON.