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    George4th wrote:
    thinklikealocal wrote:
    George4th wrote:
    thinklikealocal wrote:
    loosehead wrote:
    OSPREYSAINT wrote: OK LH is it good or bad? I am a very sceptical that Private can be more efficient and less expensive, but if the figures are correct then that should be the way to go. Just hope the other Councillors make the right decisions.
    Osprey if it goes private it would be between that company & the unions & no longer a political football for either side. I personally am in a dilema about this one as if it's controlled by the council if we have any problems ( not union) we could bring in outside help like the contractors we've used for health situations. would a private company do that? would a private company use british IT personnel or maybe Indian like Birmingham council? Most of us on here have been warning the workers this could happen many wanted it to happen after so long of putting up with a very limited bin collection service. Across the country councils have already done this & it seems to work quite well what's your opinion of it? The service I would like is one I could pick that would only collect my bins when I ask them to & only charge me for those bins.I only fill a bin once a month so this could save me a packet but this won't be happening so honestly do you think it's a good thing or bad thing?
    As an employee of SCC I have several years experience of how 'wonderful' some of the services that have already been contracted out are like HR and Payroll. Of course the public aren't aware of just how absolutely awful (and I can't say this strongly enough) the performance of Capita (or Crapita as staff prefer to call it) are in these areas. A saving of £33m under this contract, I think not. The LA couldn't monitor a contract to save it's life so consequently Crapita fine us for every breach of our requirements but does the same happen to them - not on your life. Do you know that SCC pays £2K plus for every new IT workstation (even if it's not new but a decomissioned one that they have already paid for previously) because they have not met their targets in reducing overall numbers? That is just one example. Well done people of Southampton for slating employees trying to uphold their standards of pay and conditions, you have now give Royston Smith the green light (or so he thinks) to set about dismantling the current status quo. You will get what you asked for and trust me it won't be better, it's a shame you didn't realise it at the time.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't your colleagues monitoring any shortcomings from Capita or any other service provider? The paid employees of SCC run the place (all contract services and in-house services must surely be monitored/supervised /managed, from the Chief exec down and not the councillors)) so what you're saying is that your colleagues are not doing their job properly?!
    So when you say my colleagues aren't doing their job properly you mean dustmen, carers, street cleansers? Clearly not. The failure here is at a very senior level for not putting the correct procedures and monitoring in place and for negotiating a crap contract in the first place. Crapita must have thought it was like taking candy of a baby. Believe me, staff regularly moan, complain, report problems but nothing ever happens. You should be pointing the finger at both the political and non political people at the very top of the organisation. You are playing a dangerous game if you think having a pop at the ordinary workers in SCC is the answer every time because you are not really bringing the right people to account.
    You said "as an employee of SCC" - your colleagues are ALL the people directly employed by SCC. If you want to divide them into "them" and "us" that's up to you. > And, if nothing is being done about the alleged wrong doings of Capita, how many other things are not being done correctly and going unreported? > You have people in charge from the Chief Exec down, no excuses. Are you telling me that the managers and supervisors are inept, and that the staff are too weak to complain through the right channels? >
    I'm not seeking to 'divide' anyone into a them and us but clearly not all SCC employees can be held responsible for the fiasco that is our current contract with Capita. I'm talking about the very few people at the top of the organisation who negotiated a bad deal and the very few people at the top of the organisation that are now responsible for bringing Crapita to account when they fail to deliver the goods. Believe me, that is where the failure is. I say all of this because it should be a great worry to the people of Southampton that the intention is clearly to outsource as many services as possible and judging by current experiences it will probably not be a good outcome for Council Tax Payers. If you want to put your head in the sand and carry on having a pop at ordinary workers at every available opportunity then go ahead, but you have been warned about the chaos (and I mean chaos) that might be coming."
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Southampton City Council's cost-cutting plans 'are clearly privatisation’

Southampton Civic Centre

Southampton Civic Centre

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Politics and business reporter

WASTE collections, street cleaning and park keeping could be privatised and other services axed under a plan to slash costs by a quarter at Southampton council.

Unions have warned the cost cutting programme of £50m over the next three years represents a blueprint for “wholesale privatisation” of services.

The plan sets out how the Tory-run council will go about making massive budget savings following Government funding cuts by becoming more “customer focused”, “efficient” and “business like”. And says "by 2015, we expect to be primarily, a commissioning council."

The council has just launched a consultation on 217 job cuts under draft budget plans to save £15m in 2012/13.

The strategy document, by council leader Royston Smith and chief executive Alistair Neill, says that the council needs to move away from “piecemeal changes and salami slicing” and should “not be afraid to stop doing things”.

Other savings will come from sharing more services with other councils and brining in private firms and volunteers to run others.

“Commercial options” will be explored for parks, open spaces, waste, CCTV and street cleaning.

Unite regional officer Ian Woodland said: “If this plan goes ahead many of the council’s services will be done by private companies by 2015.

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Southampton’s citizens need to wake-up to what is being planned without the necessary public consultation.

“This will mean an inferior standard of services with many city council jobs being lost as private companies drive down costs and cut corners on services to maximise shareholder profits.”

Customer services, IT, human resources, property, tax and benefits work has already been contracted out to Capita under a ten-year £290m contract, begun four years ago, in return for guaranteed savings of £33m.

The council’s leisure venues are now mostly run by DC Leisure and its highways division is in the hands of construction giant Balfour Beatty under a £100m ten-year deal.

Unions are currently balloting staff over a proposal to end six months of industrial action over pay cuts of between two and 5.5 per cent brought in under threat of dismissal in July to “protect”

400 jobs. The proposal would lift around half the council workforce from the cuts and restore some lost pay to others, although a two-year pay freeze would remain.

Unite is recommending its members reject the proposal which would see a £12m unfair dismissal claim by union members set aside.

The “change programme” will be discussed by city councillors on Wednesday.

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