Stark warning that privatisation could lead to spiralling costs

Evesham Journal: Councillor Richard Boorn, the cabinet member for finance Councillor Richard Boorn, the cabinet member for finance

THE elected finance chief at Worcester City Council has issued a stark warning over handing swathes of services to outside providers – saying he doesn’t want to “lose control” of them.

Councillor Richard Boorn says the example of the energy industry – which is saddling the public with yearly inflation-busting price rises – shows that privatisation is not always the answer.

As your Worcester News revealed last year, the old Tory administration wanted to hand over as many services as possible to outside bodies to help save money.

But the Labour leadership, which took over in May, has been reluctant to be as gung-ho about the proposed project.

Coun Boorn, the cabinet member responsible for finance, said: “We will do whatever gives us the best saving and whatever is the best value for money.

“If we give up our expertise on this council you lose more than just your expertise, and if they (any new providers) increase prices, we’ll be in a difficult position to respond.

“I give you the example of energy prices. I’m not saying they will all be like that, but we’ve got to take a broad view.”

His comments were made during a meeting of the performance, management and budget scrutiny panel at the Guildhall.

Challenged by councillor Simon Geraghty, leader of the opposition Tory group, he said “nothing has been ruled out”, despite his own scepticism.

Coun Boorn said: “It’s considerably easier to work with your in-house services to make savings and meet budget targets.

“Of course you (Coun Geraghty) will say ‘you can do this by outsourcing’, but you’ll lose control of that service.”

Coun Geraghty said keeping services in-house was not always the best option.

“If these services are run in-house at a higher cost, you’d end up running a service of less quality,” he said.

Coun Boorn said it was “not a black-and-white decision” and quality of services would remain paramount.

The tactic of hiving off services to new bodies, known as commissioining, can include the third sector, not-for-profit organisations, the private sector, charities or voluntary groups.

Bin collections and museum services were areas the Conservative leadership was aiming to hand over.

The city council needs to save more than £3 million by 2018.

Comments (3)

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9:14am Sat 7 Dec 13

green49 says...

“Of course you (Coun Geraghty) will say ‘you can do this by outsourcing’, but you’ll lose control of that service.”

Coun Geraghty said keeping services in-house was not always the best option.

Councillor Geragthy needs to get a grip think he has been brainwashed by his Tory pals into cut cut cut,, his comments last week were totally proven to be 100% wrong and WHY DID WN remove the item CENSORSHIP?????his continued lack of basic care systems and what they provide and what they do is beyond belief, his record for dealing with disabled is poor at best,

Control needs to be kept by the councills that want to cut all the services but i havent found anyone with any evidence to prove that the services done by the council are a failure, quite the opposite, so if anyone has to have support or knows of anyone then we all need to stop this stupid idea that Private firms will do a better job, i have been in the care job for nearly 30 years and i have never found that to be the case.
“Of course you (Coun Geraghty) will say ‘you can do this by outsourcing’, but you’ll lose control of that service.” Coun Geraghty said keeping services in-house was not always the best option. Councillor Geragthy needs to get a grip think he has been brainwashed by his Tory pals into cut cut cut,, his comments last week were totally proven to be 100% wrong and WHY DID WN remove the item CENSORSHIP?????his continued lack of basic care systems and what they provide and what they do is beyond belief, his record for dealing with disabled is poor at best, Control needs to be kept by the councills that want to cut all the services but i havent found anyone with any evidence to prove that the services done by the council are a failure, quite the opposite, so if anyone has to have support or knows of anyone then we all need to stop this stupid idea that Private firms will do a better job, i have been in the care job for nearly 30 years and i have never found that to be the case. green49

3:11pm Sat 7 Dec 13

bmoc55 says...

Councillor Boon is a tad disingenous when referring to the Energy companies' price rises. He should well know that it was Ed Mililiband who a few years ago stated that the public would have to accept rises in energy prices, due to commitments to Carbon reduction policies.
It was also Labour who reduced the competition in this market by creating the "Big Five".
Regarding the commissioning out of contracts to the private sector, there is nothing wrong with this provided that there are savings for the taxpayer and that the contracts writtien up are watertight.
Councillor Boon is a tad disingenous when referring to the Energy companies' price rises. He should well know that it was Ed Mililiband who a few years ago stated that the public would have to accept rises in energy prices, due to commitments to Carbon reduction policies. It was also Labour who reduced the competition in this market by creating the "Big Five". Regarding the commissioning out of contracts to the private sector, there is nothing wrong with this provided that there are savings for the taxpayer and that the contracts writtien up are watertight. bmoc55

11:50am Sun 8 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

_SIMPLE NATIONAL CONSUMERISM_

Franchised National Infrastructure & Utilities
51% to 75% of shares divided equally between all Customers, a CO-OP

_FULL NATIONAL CONSUMERISM_

51% of National Infrastructure & Utilities owned by NATIONAL CONSUMERS
24% by THE STATE, VOTING RIGHTS go to THE EMPLOYEES (& Temps)
25% by franchised, 2 year contracted PRIVATE OPERATORS..
ALL VOTE on PROJECTS & FRANCHISE SALES..

National Consumer's shares non-saleable, annually dividended
(Re)divided between the ALIVE on DEATH..
Real Direct Democracy at Local, National (& MEGA-NATIONAL) levels..
£100,000,000,000 (rough annual National Infrastructure & Utilities Profits)
/ 100,000,000 (rough population UK & Ireland)
= £1000 * 51% = £510 each..

OPTION: (% of) Under 18s Dividends to their Personal 21+ Education & Housing (+?, only) Fund..

A GLOBAL yet ETHICAL, SELF-REGULATING NATIONALIST & SUB-REGIONAL SCALED FRANCHISED Economic Stabiliser, MonopoLied-Peeps. SHARE! Nicer World Order, LOL, World-Dominated-Peop
le...
_SIMPLE NATIONAL CONSUMERISM_ Franchised National Infrastructure & Utilities 51% to 75% of shares divided equally between all Customers, a CO-OP _FULL NATIONAL CONSUMERISM_ 51% of National Infrastructure & Utilities owned by NATIONAL CONSUMERS 24% by THE STATE, VOTING RIGHTS go to THE EMPLOYEES (& Temps) 25% by franchised, 2 year contracted PRIVATE OPERATORS.. ALL VOTE on PROJECTS & FRANCHISE SALES.. National Consumer's shares non-saleable, annually dividended (Re)divided between the ALIVE on DEATH.. Real Direct Democracy at Local, National (& MEGA-NATIONAL) levels.. £100,000,000,000 (rough annual National Infrastructure & Utilities Profits) / 100,000,000 (rough population UK & Ireland) = £1000 * 51% = £510 each.. OPTION: (% of) Under 18s Dividends to their Personal 21+ Education & Housing (+?, only) Fund.. A GLOBAL yet ETHICAL, SELF-REGULATING NATIONALIST & SUB-REGIONAL SCALED FRANCHISED Economic Stabiliser, MonopoLied-Peeps. SHARE! Nicer World Order, LOL, World-Dominated-Peop le... PrivateSi

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