Expect much more of this if the Conservatives form the next government. And expect a feeding frenzy as the private companies seek their share of the spoils.
Monday, 21 December 2009
Privatising your local council
Exciting times for the private sector. Essex County Council has privatised itself. Well, not quite. But it has "signed a pioneering deal with IBM worth up to £5.4 billion to manage and provide public services in a new wave of privatisation supported by David Cameron" (reports the Times). It's not disclosed whether any UK companies tendered for this massive contract; one would have expected the likes of Capita and Serco to be interested - perhaps even A4e - but it went to the US firm because it had done similar work in Canada. IBM's contract "will cover almost all the authority’s services, including schools management, social care, highways and libraries in stages." They will review existing contracts, and every service will be up for grabs. If things can be done cheapest in-house, fine. But inevitably loads of jobs will go altogether, and others will become "flexible" i.e. insecure and worse paid.