Maybe we’ll talk about insourcing another day

CAMDEN’s housing chief Meric Apak is continuing to argue the case for insourcing to get proper consideration as an option for council works contracts. The tangled web around the disastrous Chalcots PFI has led to a bit more interest in using in-house – and, in theory, more accountable – workers ahead of private contractors.

He has many key minds at the Town Hall to convince on his ‘four year plan’, but he certainly does not alone among the ruling Labour group with this view. That said, it was interesting that supporters of the ideas in both the local unions and among like-minded councillors did not follow up his ripple-causing interview in the New Journal last month with letters of agreement in the following weeks, to keep up the momentum (small m). Maybe we wil hear more during conference season, but at the moment so much more is often said when the mic is off.

In the end, it was a more unlikely source that followed the story up: Westminster councillor Tony  Devenish, who in his role as a London Assembly member asked Sadiq Khan no less whether he agreed with Cllr Apak. He name checked the Camden councillor in an official question and raised the colourful quote about foxes guarding hens in relation to private companies monitoring their own work.

Perhaps this was an opportunity for Mr Khan to shout out from the rooftops that he was in favour of a new way of doing things, to possibly endorse an insourcing revolution. But Mr Devenish must have caught him at a busy moment. A dry as a desert one line reply came back.

 

2 Comments on Maybe we’ll talk about insourcing another day

  1. Rebecca Shirazi // August 1, 2018 at 10:33 am // Reply

    Meric has lots of support from labour members for his interview in the CNJ. Also it was a Camden Labour manifesto promise to look at insourcing estate services. Outsourcing is costly, ineffective and in some cases dangerous because private companies flout health & safety in pursuit of profit. When things go wrong, it’s hard to hold anyone to account, if everything has been outscourced to various different companies.

    For too long, the mainstream thinking has been that the private sector is more efficient and can provide a better service than the public sector. Public perception has changed and this ideology has proved to be false and in case of Grenfell deadly. We must reject outsourcing to the private sector as the default for providing public services and instead, as Meric is suggesting, ensure public services provided by the council are run by the council when sensible and possible.

    Insourcing is not radical, it’s pragmatic politics.

    Like

  2. Rebecca you are correct of course, now try and convince that collection of middle class progress toe rags of your party THAT!

    Like

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