From the national scandal over Carillion to local resident frustration with the new CityWest repairs contractor Morgan Sindall it is clear that change is long overdue to the culture of outsourcing in the public sector.
For years Labour in Westminster have called on the council to end its culture of endless subcontracting. All too often where residents expect the council or CityWest Homes to provide a service they are told that “sorry the work can’t be done because of a problem with a contractor’s sub-contractor” or even more convoluted forms of buck passing.
If elected to run Westminster Council in May, Labour is committed to introducing an ‘in-house’ test whereby the council must fully consider the feasibility of bringing a service back into direct council management when any contract comes up for renewal. Such approach would seek to improve democratic control, public accountability and service quality. Where this ‘in-house’ approach is not possible at the present time the Council would also be required to explore how to better involve the voluntary sector and work with smaller and more local businesses as part of such contracts.
Westminster Labour will continue to support efforts by the national Labour Party to seek urgent reform of the outsourcing sector and its plans to return more work to the public sector and to properly support local government services.
With many long-term contracts locked in by the Conservatives changing the organisational culture will take time but Westminster Labour is committed to ensuring that Council services become more accountable and responsive to the needs of local people.
Westminster Labour Group Leader Adam Hug said “It has been clear for a long-time that the sub-contracting culture in public services has not delivered for local people. If Labour is elected to run the council in May we will deliver real change that supports a Westminster for the many not the few.”