Council hands in-house architects jobs to private sector company

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader

Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A STACK of architects jobs at Worcestershire County Council are being handed to a massive private sector company, it has emerged.

The cash-strapped authority has struck a deal with US-based Jacobs to take over the in-house professional design services team.

The service employs around 30 top-notch architects who help with construction-related matters for schools across Worcestershire, any other public sector bodies that need help and the council's own raft of buildings.

Under the agreement the firm will take on all the staff and employ them directly on the same terms and conditions, adding to its 8,000-strong UK workforce.

The deal, which has been in the making for weeks, comes after the council revealed it wanted to hive off 85 per cent of all services by 2018.

Your Worcester News understands Jacobs fought off competition from several other private sector firms to take the workers on.

It has a turnover of around £10 billion and already has lucrative contracts with central Government and dozens of other councils.

The contract between the two parties will be for an initial period of five years, with an option to extend it by two years subject to it going well.

Jacobs will offer the council expertise for any building programmes, such as new schools, as well as property survey work and professional design input.

A new report on the move says the deal avoids any "potential redundancy costs" that were in the offing had no interest been shown.

It also says it will "improve the long term employment prospects" for the staff transferred over, who will be able to access more clients.

The council says the potential savings made are impossible to quantify because the design unit charges fees for the work it completes, which varies year to year.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: "I'm delighted we now have a preferred bidder on board - on we go with the process."

Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for transformation and commissioning, said: "We have a very good property services team which has supported this council for a very long time."

The contract is set to start from September.

Comments (24)

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12:20am Sat 14 Jun 14

mistercatesby says...

'Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for transformation and commissioning, said: "We have a very good property services team which has supported this council for a very long time."'

Yes and the fact that the Property dept would be farmed out has been known for a long time John. In 2013, people who worked for the County Council were the only ones allowed to apply for Council jobs. I was advised that if I applied for a job in Property, I should be aware that the dept would not be staying and my job would not be safe.

Do the public actually know what will happen when Property services are sold? The impact will be massive- especially for schools and children.

WCC, is being sold down the river, along with residents of the county, and Worcester itself, because the new Chief Exec refuses to fight the govt cuts because she got this job because she accepted that she would have to CUT jobs and SERVICES for Worcester residents.
Shame on Claire Marchant and shame on the Tories for failing to address the concerns of normal middle and working class people.
'Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for transformation and commissioning, said: "We have a very good property services team which has supported this council for a very long time."' Yes and the fact that the Property dept would be farmed out has been known for a long time John. In 2013, people who worked for the County Council were the only ones allowed to apply for Council jobs. I was advised that if I applied for a job in Property, I should be aware that the dept would not be staying and my job would not be safe. Do the public actually know what will happen when Property services are sold? The impact will be massive- especially for schools and children. WCC, is being sold down the river, along with residents of the county, and Worcester itself, because the new Chief Exec refuses to fight the govt cuts because she got this job because she accepted that she would have to CUT jobs and SERVICES for Worcester residents. Shame on Claire Marchant and shame on the Tories for failing to address the concerns of normal middle and working class people. mistercatesby
  • Score: 14

12:33am Sat 14 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

So right , the current Councillors are selling the family Jewels, but also creating lucrative contracts for businesses out side the Council. No Suprise there then. It's called PRIVATISATION.
Thjey want us to beleive that when the 1,500 staff have been sacked that there won't be any oncost for the services previusly provided by the Council Staff, Well of course there will however these costs will be paid to the Privatisation Buddies of the CONservatives. So no suprise there as well.
Campion & Co are not really making savings for the same ammount of services they are simply redistributing the money for less or streamlined services (ha ha) that the Privatisation provides.
So right , the current Councillors are selling the family Jewels, but also creating lucrative contracts for businesses out side the Council. No Suprise there then. It's called PRIVATISATION. Thjey want us to beleive that when the 1,500 staff have been sacked that there won't be any oncost for the services previusly provided by the Council Staff, Well of course there will however these costs will be paid to the Privatisation Buddies of the CONservatives. So no suprise there as well. Campion & Co are not really making savings for the same ammount of services they are simply redistributing the money for less or streamlined services (ha ha) that the Privatisation provides. Jabbadad
  • Score: 8

5:43am Sat 14 Jun 14

Rita Jelfs says...

So Worcestershire County Council will save a **** load of money that they don't have to pay out in redundancy for long term architect currently employed by the County Council. So how long before Jacobs can decide that they need to make people redundant because the County Council is not utilising their services due to a lack of money for projects? If this happens their new employees will only be entitled to small redundancy payouts? Its a win/win for Jacobs and the County Council isn't it?
So Worcestershire County Council will save a **** load of money that they don't have to pay out in redundancy for long term architect currently employed by the County Council. So how long before Jacobs can decide that they need to make people redundant because the County Council is not utilising their services due to a lack of money for projects? If this happens their new employees will only be entitled to small redundancy payouts? Its a win/win for Jacobs and the County Council isn't it? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: 15

7:04am Sat 14 Jun 14

ringthembells says...

Rita Jelfs wrote:
So Worcestershire County Council will save a **** load of money that they don't have to pay out in redundancy for long term architect currently employed by the County Council. So how long before Jacobs can decide that they need to make people redundant because the County Council is not utilising their services due to a lack of money for projects? If this happens their new employees will only be entitled to small redundancy payouts? Its a win/win for Jacobs and the County Council isn't it?
Presumably no Employers' NIC, no Employers' pension contributions makes quite a tidy saving for WCC. However the acid test will come when WCC contract Jacobs to provide design services for a maintained school or some other WCC facility and find that the costs are 15% higher than they would have incurred when the service was in-house.
I expect Cllr Hardman will tell everyone that the impact is "neutral".
[quote][p][bold]Rita Jelfs[/bold] wrote: So Worcestershire County Council will save a **** load of money that they don't have to pay out in redundancy for long term architect currently employed by the County Council. So how long before Jacobs can decide that they need to make people redundant because the County Council is not utilising their services due to a lack of money for projects? If this happens their new employees will only be entitled to small redundancy payouts? Its a win/win for Jacobs and the County Council isn't it?[/p][/quote]Presumably no Employers' NIC, no Employers' pension contributions makes quite a tidy saving for WCC. However the acid test will come when WCC contract Jacobs to provide design services for a maintained school or some other WCC facility and find that the costs are 15% higher than they would have incurred when the service was in-house. I expect Cllr Hardman will tell everyone that the impact is "neutral". ringthembells
  • Score: 8

7:30am Sat 14 Jun 14

voledog says...

I can't help noticing the striking similarity between that photo of Councillor Hardman and one of the Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt. Of course, one of them is an evil overlord who employs a retinue of criminals, bounty hunters, smugglers, assassins and bodyguards to operate his empire, whilst the other is just a fictional character.
I can't help noticing the striking similarity between that photo of Councillor Hardman and one of the Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt. Of course, one of them is an evil overlord who employs a retinue of criminals, bounty hunters, smugglers, assassins and bodyguards to operate his empire, whilst the other is just a fictional character. voledog
  • Score: 19

10:35am Sat 14 Jun 14

green49 says...

Another Hardman decision thats NOT in the taxpayers interest, just his political ambition, SACK HIM.
Another Hardman decision thats NOT in the taxpayers interest, just his political ambition, SACK HIM. green49
  • Score: 9

1:50pm Sat 14 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

One dramatic change that Commisioning brings is the huge power of the County Council to control where the funding for services is placed.
Just a short while back a decision was taken by Worcestershire County Council to close Blackmore House Bromsgrove the only residential Dementia home owned by WCC in Worcestershire. Those (residents and daycare families etc) who were campaigning against the closure put forward very passionate / sound reasons for it to remain open. The home had a very good name among residents and Day care users families, and had good reports from the CQC inspections. And having had converstaions with the management of the home who were also passionate about it's purpose and success, it could be suggested / recognised that WCC were not sending enough clients to this home to keep it financially viable.
Enquiries seemed to identify that there was what could be seen as a politically motivated policy for the Dispersal (their words) of Dementia clients into the communities, and to be cared for by Care in the Home services, which in many cases would not provide 24 hour care(only for cases of critical care) , so a much greater emphasis to fall onto the families.
Alright for those who had families, but in many instances the elderly partners of these clients were in need of care themselves and the reason why their loved ones were in residential care in the first place.
It was also thought that the WCC wished to sell the property or use it in another developement, This I understand has happened.
So Commisioning will give WCC huge financial powers over all it's services that go out for tender, since they will be the paymaster. It is vital that any commisioning should be awarded wisely and watertight to mis-appropriate interpretation. It seem the losers again could be the clients.
Currently we are ;looking at the CONservatives to administer these schemes???
One dramatic change that Commisioning brings is the huge power of the County Council to control where the funding for services is placed. Just a short while back a decision was taken by Worcestershire County Council to close Blackmore House Bromsgrove the only residential Dementia home owned by WCC in Worcestershire. Those (residents and daycare families etc) who were campaigning against the closure put forward very passionate / sound reasons for it to remain open. The home had a very good name among residents and Day care users families, and had good reports from the CQC inspections. And having had converstaions with the management of the home who were also passionate about it's purpose and success, it could be suggested / recognised that WCC were not sending enough clients to this home to keep it financially viable. Enquiries seemed to identify that there was what could be seen as a politically motivated policy for the Dispersal (their words) of Dementia clients into the communities, and to be cared for by Care in the Home services, which in many cases would not provide 24 hour care(only for cases of critical care) , so a much greater emphasis to fall onto the families. Alright for those who had families, but in many instances the elderly partners of these clients were in need of care themselves and the reason why their loved ones were in residential care in the first place. It was also thought that the WCC wished to sell the property or use it in another developement, This I understand has happened. So Commisioning will give WCC huge financial powers over all it's services that go out for tender, since they will be the paymaster. It is vital that any commisioning should be awarded wisely and watertight to mis-appropriate interpretation. It seem the losers again could be the clients. Currently we are ;looking at the CONservatives to administer these schemes??? Jabbadad
  • Score: 1

6:17pm Sat 14 Jun 14

dropkick55 says...

Tory's in control of the council, giving jobs to their mates yet again!
Tory's in control of the council, giving jobs to their mates yet again! dropkick55
  • Score: 2

6:32pm Sat 14 Jun 14

3thinker says...

Time for Cllr Hardman to put the taxpayers and service users first.

Abolish the County and merge it with all the District Councils to create a single Unitary Council for Worcestershire. Immediately this would save £millions each and every year. Cut bureaucracy, councillors, senior management, petty politicking and drive significant efficiencies.
Time for Cllr Hardman to put the taxpayers and service users first. Abolish the County and merge it with all the District Councils to create a single Unitary Council for Worcestershire. Immediately this would save £millions each and every year. Cut bureaucracy, councillors, senior management, petty politicking and drive significant efficiencies. 3thinker
  • Score: 5

8:21pm Sat 14 Jun 14

3thinker says...

voledog wrote:
I can't help noticing the striking similarity between that photo of Councillor Hardman and one of the Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt. Of course, one of them is an evil overlord who employs a retinue of criminals, bounty hunters, smugglers, assassins and bodyguards to operate his empire, whilst the other is just a fictional character.
More like Toad of Toad (County) Hall?
[quote][p][bold]voledog[/bold] wrote: I can't help noticing the striking similarity between that photo of Councillor Hardman and one of the Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt. Of course, one of them is an evil overlord who employs a retinue of criminals, bounty hunters, smugglers, assassins and bodyguards to operate his empire, whilst the other is just a fictional character.[/p][/quote]More like Toad of Toad (County) Hall? 3thinker
  • Score: 3

1:01pm Mon 16 Jun 14

FromTheOutside says...

Rita Jelfs wrote:
So Worcestershire County Council will save a **** load of money that they don't have to pay out in redundancy for long term architect currently employed by the County Council. So how long before Jacobs can decide that they need to make people redundant because the County Council is not utilising their services due to a lack of money for projects? If this happens their new employees will only be entitled to small redundancy payouts? Its a win/win for Jacobs and the County Council isn't it?
I suspect you'll find that the employees are transfered under TUPE rules - so have exactly the same rights as they did before.
[quote][p][bold]Rita Jelfs[/bold] wrote: So Worcestershire County Council will save a **** load of money that they don't have to pay out in redundancy for long term architect currently employed by the County Council. So how long before Jacobs can decide that they need to make people redundant because the County Council is not utilising their services due to a lack of money for projects? If this happens their new employees will only be entitled to small redundancy payouts? Its a win/win for Jacobs and the County Council isn't it?[/p][/quote]I suspect you'll find that the employees are transfered under TUPE rules - so have exactly the same rights as they did before. FromTheOutside
  • Score: -1

2:30pm Mon 16 Jun 14

thesquirrel says...

Sorry, but unless someone can give me a good reason why the public sector need to employ their own architects and can't use the services of the private sector then, as a taxpayer, I think this has to be a good thing and should have been done a long time ago.
Sorry, but unless someone can give me a good reason why the public sector need to employ their own architects and can't use the services of the private sector then, as a taxpayer, I think this has to be a good thing and should have been done a long time ago. thesquirrel
  • Score: -1

2:48pm Mon 16 Jun 14

3thinker says...

thesquirrel wrote:
Sorry, but unless someone can give me a good reason why the public sector need to employ their own architects and can't use the services of the private sector then, as a taxpayer, I think this has to be a good thing and should have been done a long time ago.
I'm critical of the knee jerk reaction that assumes private is always better. Its not. I'm also a firm believer that well managed in-house services can be better than privatisation. I do however agree that there are some services that are better 'bought' in as and when needed. Architectural services is certainly one of them. Its equally difficult to imagine how Highway and Refuse services can be more efficiently run internally given the significant capital investment and economies of scale that are needed.

My big concern locally is that the ruling administration at the City and County are in headlong rush to privatise as much as possible and without taking an objective long term view of in-house, multi- council, not for profit and private sector options.

I note for instance Cllr Campion at the County gave the example of Labour controlled Sandwell as a good example of the benefits that can be obtained by 'outsourcing'. The reality is Sandwell, for a variety of reasons, has decided to end their contract with BT early and estimate they will save several £M per year by bringing services back in-house.

The plain fact is that an in-house service doesn't have to generate profits and can be better tailored to meet changing local and individual needs. The big challenges are to ensure such services are well managed and efficient in meeting local needs.
[quote][p][bold]thesquirrel[/bold] wrote: Sorry, but unless someone can give me a good reason why the public sector need to employ their own architects and can't use the services of the private sector then, as a taxpayer, I think this has to be a good thing and should have been done a long time ago.[/p][/quote]I'm critical of the knee jerk reaction that assumes private is always better. Its not. I'm also a firm believer that well managed in-house services can be better than privatisation. I do however agree that there are some services that are better 'bought' in as and when needed. Architectural services is certainly one of them. Its equally difficult to imagine how Highway and Refuse services can be more efficiently run internally given the significant capital investment and economies of scale that are needed. My big concern locally is that the ruling administration at the City and County are in headlong rush to privatise as much as possible and without taking an objective long term view of in-house, multi- council, not for profit and private sector options. I note for instance Cllr Campion at the County gave the example of Labour controlled Sandwell as a good example of the benefits that can be obtained by 'outsourcing'. The reality is Sandwell, for a variety of reasons, has decided to end their contract with BT early and estimate they will save several £M per year by bringing services back in-house. The plain fact is that an in-house service doesn't have to generate profits and can be better tailored to meet changing local and individual needs. The big challenges are to ensure such services are well managed and efficient in meeting local needs. 3thinker
  • Score: 2

10:53pm Tue 17 Jun 14

F1 Dave says...

Sorry to let the truth get in the way, but there are only 7 architects the rest are surveyors, engineers, and technical staff.
Mr Hardman cannot state any savings because in his own committee report that went before council. He stated that there are NO savings in outsourcing the Design group.
Why No saving, because the fees pay for the staff of the design group, i.e. they pay their way.
Why have in house design / technical staff, well it is cost effective. The staff are paid on average 5k below the private equitant. Plus they have detailed knowledge of the work required by the council.
So to sum it up this Leadership are getting rid of the front line staff that don’t cost market rates. Then appoint a company that will charge market rate plus profit.
It is not the staff that do things for the public of Worcestershire that cost, it is the administrators that are the costly bit. Yep WCC are keeping the costly administrators.
Sorry to let the truth get in the way, but there are only 7 architects the rest are surveyors, engineers, and technical staff. Mr Hardman cannot state any savings because in his own committee report that went before council. He stated that there are NO savings in outsourcing the Design group. Why No saving, because the fees pay for the staff of the design group, i.e. they pay their way. Why have in house design / technical staff, well it is cost effective. The staff are paid on average 5k below the private equitant. Plus they have detailed knowledge of the work required by the council. So to sum it up this Leadership are getting rid of the front line staff that don’t cost market rates. Then appoint a company that will charge market rate plus profit. It is not the staff that do things for the public of Worcestershire that cost, it is the administrators that are the costly bit. Yep WCC are keeping the costly administrators. F1 Dave
  • Score: 2

9:52am Wed 18 Jun 14

3thinker says...

F1 Dave wrote:
Sorry to let the truth get in the way, but there are only 7 architects the rest are surveyors, engineers, and technical staff.
Mr Hardman cannot state any savings because in his own committee report that went before council. He stated that there are NO savings in outsourcing the Design group.
Why No saving, because the fees pay for the staff of the design group, i.e. they pay their way.
Why have in house design / technical staff, well it is cost effective. The staff are paid on average 5k below the private equitant. Plus they have detailed knowledge of the work required by the council.
So to sum it up this Leadership are getting rid of the front line staff that don’t cost market rates. Then appoint a company that will charge market rate plus profit.
It is not the staff that do things for the public of Worcestershire that cost, it is the administrators that are the costly bit. Yep WCC are keeping the costly administrators.
F1 Dave makes some very valid points.

I know from previous experience that the cost of some front line services have to carry up to 40% on-cost from central admin and other 'back office' services that only tend to add bureaucracy rather than quality to services offered.

From what Dave says it does appear that the controlling group on the County are privatising things for the sake of it, rather than looking after the taxpayers and service users long term interests.
[quote][p][bold]F1 Dave[/bold] wrote: Sorry to let the truth get in the way, but there are only 7 architects the rest are surveyors, engineers, and technical staff. Mr Hardman cannot state any savings because in his own committee report that went before council. He stated that there are NO savings in outsourcing the Design group. Why No saving, because the fees pay for the staff of the design group, i.e. they pay their way. Why have in house design / technical staff, well it is cost effective. The staff are paid on average 5k below the private equitant. Plus they have detailed knowledge of the work required by the council. So to sum it up this Leadership are getting rid of the front line staff that don’t cost market rates. Then appoint a company that will charge market rate plus profit. It is not the staff that do things for the public of Worcestershire that cost, it is the administrators that are the costly bit. Yep WCC are keeping the costly administrators.[/p][/quote]F1 Dave makes some very valid points. I know from previous experience that the cost of some front line services have to carry up to 40% on-cost from central admin and other 'back office' services that only tend to add bureaucracy rather than quality to services offered. From what Dave says it does appear that the controlling group on the County are privatising things for the sake of it, rather than looking after the taxpayers and service users long term interests. 3thinker
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Jabbadad says...

Well thesquirrell, you have the answers and what good information as well. It only proves that these Councillors are on a CONservative mission of Privatisation at any cost.
The examples given of on-cost by 3thinker recalls when Older People were having their Meals-On-Wheels services subsidies cut by the WCC whose evidence used was by saying that while the meals cost just over £7 less the charged amount to those having the meals deliverd, by the time that an on-cost was added the same meals became a cost to WCC of over £14.50p. Our response was for the WCC to demonstate how this top loading could be justified and used against the subsidy for the continuation of the Meals on Wheels. service. We of course had no reply even though the then Cabinet member I undersatnd was also an accountant and therefore could be expected to be aware of CONservativism Profit and loss.
And I also recall Chris Lewington, county council employee, (manger, I think) at a meeting with we older people where we were discussing increases in service charges, when she said that it was the future policy that all costs involved in providing a service from the County Council would be chargable, to the client. And here we are 10 years later seeing exactly that happening, it's called CONservatism / Privatisation.
And it goes on with County Councillors claiming / getting over £880,000 per year attendance allowances.
Today we read Coun Liz Eyre saying we are ready, to the ridiculous Lib/Lab/Dem/Tories vote catching ideas for free school meals for all school children, while reading that some schools have missed out on the funding towards the expected re-equiping of their existing kitchens to even having to extend the school to accomadate the meals service, and with some schools still with overcrowded classrooms, (teaching in portacabins) and most schools having to find substantial ammounts of their extremely tight budgeted money towards these Nick Clegg ideas.
Back in 1942 we had free school milk but our parents were expected to pay for our school dinners, and these really were in hard times, for tea we often had a cucumber (if there was one to pick off the garden) sandwich, or jam sandwiches again home made, as to meat sandwiches I think the only cold meat around then was SPAM or Corned Beef and that was on the Ration Books..And did we all grow up disfunctional, or weedy, Not On Your life.
Today we have lost sight of reality to one of "Must Have"
I for some years was the youngest / little brother so well aware of hand me downs, but it was something to be proud of to have your big brothers shirts, shorts, pumps, Bikes in fact anything we could get our hands on sometimes before they had finished with them, and for we which we had a clip around the ear, or a wagging from your hero big brother, which hurt even more.
So does all the additional education produce more rounded community aware people I ponder, when I watch on WEB CAM Coun John Campion and other councillors displaying rudeness by the bucket load to other councillors or reading his Tory comments about Slash & Burn policies, and based upon this I would say NO. But then I recall all the genuine people who are out there helping the disadvantaged, many who write on here, and feel a lot more comfortable.
Well thesquirrell, you have the answers and what good information as well. It only proves that these Councillors are on a CONservative mission of Privatisation at any cost. The examples given of on-cost by 3thinker recalls when Older People were having their Meals-On-Wheels services subsidies cut by the WCC whose evidence used was by saying that while the meals cost just over £7 less the charged amount to those having the meals deliverd, by the time that an on-cost was added the same meals became a cost to WCC of over £14.50p. Our response was for the WCC to demonstate how this top loading could be justified and used against the subsidy for the continuation of the Meals on Wheels. service. We of course had no reply even though the then Cabinet member I undersatnd was also an accountant and therefore could be expected to be aware of CONservativism Profit and loss. And I also recall Chris Lewington, county council employee, (manger, I think) at a meeting with we older people where we were discussing increases in service charges, when she said that it was the future policy that all costs involved in providing a service from the County Council would be chargable, to the client. And here we are 10 years later seeing exactly that happening, it's called CONservatism / Privatisation. And it goes on with County Councillors claiming / getting over £880,000 per year attendance allowances. Today we read Coun Liz Eyre saying we are ready, to the ridiculous Lib/Lab/Dem/Tories vote catching ideas for free school meals for all school children, while reading that some schools have missed out on the funding towards the expected re-equiping of their existing kitchens to even having to extend the school to accomadate the meals service, and with some schools still with overcrowded classrooms, (teaching in portacabins) and most schools having to find substantial ammounts of their extremely tight budgeted money towards these Nick Clegg ideas. Back in 1942 we had free school milk but our parents were expected to pay for our school dinners, and these really were in hard times, for tea we often had a cucumber (if there was one to pick off the garden) sandwich, or jam sandwiches again home made, as to meat sandwiches I think the only cold meat around then was SPAM or Corned Beef and that was on the Ration Books..And did we all grow up disfunctional, or weedy, Not On Your life. Today we have lost sight of reality to one of "Must Have" I for some years was the youngest / little brother so well aware of hand me downs, but it was something to be proud of to have your big brothers shirts, shorts, pumps, Bikes in fact anything we could get our hands on sometimes before they had finished with them, and for we which we had a clip around the ear, or a wagging from your hero big brother, which hurt even more. So does all the additional education produce more rounded community aware people I ponder, when I watch on WEB CAM Coun John Campion and other councillors displaying rudeness by the bucket load to other councillors or reading his Tory comments about Slash & Burn policies, and based upon this I would say NO. But then I recall all the genuine people who are out there helping the disadvantaged, many who write on here, and feel a lot more comfortable. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Wed 18 Jun 14

DarrenM says...

Hopefully they'll privatise everything from the Chief Executive down, the council can then be run by a couple of clerks in a small office, and all the newly privatised staff will have to work for a living.
Hopefully they'll privatise everything from the Chief Executive down, the council can then be run by a couple of clerks in a small office, and all the newly privatised staff will have to work for a living. DarrenM
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Wed 18 Jun 14

3thinker says...

DarrenM wrote:
Hopefully they'll privatise everything from the Chief Executive down, the council can then be run by a couple of clerks in a small office, and all the newly privatised staff will have to work for a living.
What a wonderful idea Darren. Perhaps we should invite npower and the other privatised utilities to take over. They do such a wonderful job at keeping costs down and improving customer service.
[quote][p][bold]DarrenM[/bold] wrote: Hopefully they'll privatise everything from the Chief Executive down, the council can then be run by a couple of clerks in a small office, and all the newly privatised staff will have to work for a living.[/p][/quote]What a wonderful idea Darren. Perhaps we should invite npower and the other privatised utilities to take over. They do such a wonderful job at keeping costs down and improving customer service. 3thinker
  • Score: 1

1:44pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Mike5305 says...

F1 Dave wrote:
Sorry to let the truth get in the way, but there are only 7 architects the rest are surveyors, engineers, and technical staff.
Mr Hardman cannot state any savings because in his own committee report that went before council. He stated that there are NO savings in outsourcing the Design group.
Why No saving, because the fees pay for the staff of the design group, i.e. they pay their way.
Why have in house design / technical staff, well it is cost effective. The staff are paid on average 5k below the private equitant. Plus they have detailed knowledge of the work required by the council.
So to sum it up this Leadership are getting rid of the front line staff that don’t cost market rates. Then appoint a company that will charge market rate plus profit.
It is not the staff that do things for the public of Worcestershire that cost, it is the administrators that are the costly bit. Yep WCC are keeping the costly administrators.
And you think these 7 architects who are already being paid below the market rate would be able to do all of the administration as well in these multi million pound projects?
[quote][p][bold]F1 Dave[/bold] wrote: Sorry to let the truth get in the way, but there are only 7 architects the rest are surveyors, engineers, and technical staff. Mr Hardman cannot state any savings because in his own committee report that went before council. He stated that there are NO savings in outsourcing the Design group. Why No saving, because the fees pay for the staff of the design group, i.e. they pay their way. Why have in house design / technical staff, well it is cost effective. The staff are paid on average 5k below the private equitant. Plus they have detailed knowledge of the work required by the council. So to sum it up this Leadership are getting rid of the front line staff that don’t cost market rates. Then appoint a company that will charge market rate plus profit. It is not the staff that do things for the public of Worcestershire that cost, it is the administrators that are the costly bit. Yep WCC are keeping the costly administrators.[/p][/quote]And you think these 7 architects who are already being paid below the market rate would be able to do all of the administration as well in these multi million pound projects? Mike5305
  • Score: -3

6:21pm Thu 19 Jun 14

Perfman says...

dropkick55 wrote:
Tory's in control of the council, giving jobs to their mates yet again!
Utter dick
[quote][p][bold]dropkick55[/bold] wrote: Tory's in control of the council, giving jobs to their mates yet again![/p][/quote]Utter dick Perfman
  • Score: -1

7:34pm Thu 19 Jun 14

DarrenM says...

3thinker wrote:
DarrenM wrote:
Hopefully they'll privatise everything from the Chief Executive down, the council can then be run by a couple of clerks in a small office, and all the newly privatised staff will have to work for a living.
What a wonderful idea Darren. Perhaps we should invite npower and the other privatised utilities to take over. They do such a wonderful job at keeping costs down and improving customer service.
the great thing about a free market is that if the service is found lacking the Clerks will be free to outsource it elsewhere. Not something possible in your USSR paradise.
[quote][p][bold]3thinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DarrenM[/bold] wrote: Hopefully they'll privatise everything from the Chief Executive down, the council can then be run by a couple of clerks in a small office, and all the newly privatised staff will have to work for a living.[/p][/quote]What a wonderful idea Darren. Perhaps we should invite npower and the other privatised utilities to take over. They do such a wonderful job at keeping costs down and improving customer service.[/p][/quote]the great thing about a free market is that if the service is found lacking the Clerks will be free to outsource it elsewhere. Not something possible in your USSR paradise. DarrenM
  • Score: -1

7:47pm Thu 19 Jun 14

3thinker says...

DarrenM wrote:
3thinker wrote:
DarrenM wrote:
Hopefully they'll privatise everything from the Chief Executive down, the council can then be run by a couple of clerks in a small office, and all the newly privatised staff will have to work for a living.
What a wonderful idea Darren. Perhaps we should invite npower and the other privatised utilities to take over. They do such a wonderful job at keeping costs down and improving customer service.
the great thing about a free market is that if the service is found lacking the Clerks will be free to outsource it elsewhere. Not something possible in your USSR paradise.
You've obviously had no personal experience of public sector tendering. And what has a a country that no longer exists got to do with it or are you really trying to say all pubic sector organisations and staff are communists?
[quote][p][bold]DarrenM[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]3thinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DarrenM[/bold] wrote: Hopefully they'll privatise everything from the Chief Executive down, the council can then be run by a couple of clerks in a small office, and all the newly privatised staff will have to work for a living.[/p][/quote]What a wonderful idea Darren. Perhaps we should invite npower and the other privatised utilities to take over. They do such a wonderful job at keeping costs down and improving customer service.[/p][/quote]the great thing about a free market is that if the service is found lacking the Clerks will be free to outsource it elsewhere. Not something possible in your USSR paradise.[/p][/quote]You've obviously had no personal experience of public sector tendering. And what has a a country that no longer exists got to do with it or are you really trying to say all pubic sector organisations and staff are communists? 3thinker
  • Score: 3

11:40pm Thu 19 Jun 14

F1 Dave says...

DarrenM says...
the great thing about a free market is that if the service is found lacking the Clerks will be free to outsource it elsewhere. Not something possible in your USSR paradise

What are you on about, the point is that services are currently being delivered at the best rates for the TAX pound. By front line staff, the extra cost is the on cost of the administration. Administration is the County Council, Mr Hardman, other councillors and Top managers. Its not hard to understand or work out. Free market, you are in a dream world.
DarrenM says... the great thing about a free market is that if the service is found lacking the Clerks will be free to outsource it elsewhere. Not something possible in your USSR paradise What are you on about, the point is that services are currently being delivered at the best rates for the TAX pound. By front line staff, the extra cost is the on cost of the administration. Administration is the County Council, Mr Hardman, other councillors and Top managers. Its not hard to understand or work out. Free market, you are in a dream world. F1 Dave
  • Score: 1

12:40am Fri 20 Jun 14

3thinker says...

From considerable experience I hope I'm objective enough to take a very balanced view about the relative merits of delivery of 'public services' through public. private and third sector 'agencies'

What's the best option depends on a whole range of variables. Where large scale capital investment and economies of scale are concerned its difficult tfor the public and Not for Profit sector to compete with the Private Sector unless Councils collaborate (never an easy option politically, but certainly a possibility if Councils could look beyond the parochial, but I've seen little evidence that they are prepared to do this). There are also certain services where a not for profit solution is better. Equally a well managed internal service can be the best option and particularly when the Council gives it the freedom to re-invest surpluses and taken on contracts with other Councils or even the private sector.

Personally I've been involved with a service that was a 'basket case' within a Council structure that was floated off as a co-op and then went on to become 2nd for two years running in the Times 100 companies to work for and win and retain business against strong private sector competition with other councils and have £M's of capital to invest in housing for these with mental health issues.

In doing so middle management was cut to the bone, but front line staff terms and conditions were maintained and sickness absence and staff turnover were reduced to below private sector levels. Having better terms and conditions the frontline staff actually had more disposable income to spend on mainly local services that also increased income and profits for local private sector businesses which in turn created extra jobs for those on the local community.

The problem I see locally is that the politicians we have fail to see a different future tat is better for their existing workforce, but if well managed ( and yes m the workforce the unions also need to see the bigger picture) could for certain services could result in a better option for the local tax payer, service user and indeed the local economy. By saying this I'm not promoting status quo, its just I have very little confidence that our local politicians and senior management are informed or have the vision to recognise what the best options are in terms of the future delivery of some of our public services.

That said I appreciate that part of the problem is that they have to make quick decisions about how to balance the budget and meet the cut imposed on them by central government.
From considerable experience I hope I'm objective enough to take a very balanced view about the relative merits of delivery of 'public services' through public. private and third sector 'agencies' What's the best option depends on a whole range of variables. Where large scale capital investment and economies of scale are concerned its difficult tfor the public and Not for Profit sector to compete with the Private Sector unless Councils collaborate (never an easy option politically, but certainly a possibility if Councils could look beyond the parochial, but I've seen little evidence that they are prepared to do this). There are also certain services where a not for profit solution is better. Equally a well managed internal service can be the best option and particularly when the Council gives it the freedom to re-invest surpluses and taken on contracts with other Councils or even the private sector. Personally I've been involved with a service that was a 'basket case' within a Council structure that was floated off as a co-op and then went on to become 2nd for two years running in the Times 100 companies to work for and win and retain business against strong private sector competition with other councils and have £M's of capital to invest in housing for these with mental health issues. In doing so middle management was cut to the bone, but front line staff terms and conditions were maintained and sickness absence and staff turnover were reduced to below private sector levels. Having better terms and conditions the frontline staff actually had more disposable income to spend on mainly local services that also increased income and profits for local private sector businesses which in turn created extra jobs for those on the local community. The problem I see locally is that the politicians we have fail to see a different future tat is better for their existing workforce, but if well managed ( and yes m the workforce the unions also need to see the bigger picture) could for certain services could result in a better option for the local tax payer, service user and indeed the local economy. By saying this I'm not promoting status quo, its just I have very little confidence that our local politicians and senior management are informed or have the vision to recognise what the best options are in terms of the future delivery of some of our public services. That said I appreciate that part of the problem is that they have to make quick decisions about how to balance the budget and meet the cut imposed on them by central government. 3thinker
  • Score: 1

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