The case for local public ownership
Outsourcing is risky! The collapse of Carillion shows the huge risks of relying on private profit-making companies to run our public services.And they're not the only company to fail to deliver on their promises.
Running a service in house is cheaper than outsourcing, because of the costs of managing the contract, and the dividends paid to shareholders.
CASE STUDY - SEVENOAKS
This Conservative-run district council doesn't outsource at all. Because of the savings and improved efficiency of joined-up in house council services, it has become fully financially self-sufficient. A great example of the benefits of in house services!
Paying shareholders isn't just wasteful - it's financially irresponsible if you're not making enough profit. Public service provider Carillion collapsed in January 2018, partly because it had continued to pay shareholders huge sums while racking up years of debt.
3) Better quality
The most common reason councils give for insourcing is the poor performance of private providers - they just can’t be trusted to provide a good quality service! Private providers can underestimate how much it will cost them to provide a service, and end up cutting back on quality after the contract has been signed. We don’t get what we pay for.
4) Public support and accountability
Services run in house are overwhelmingly more accountable to their users. Local councils are democratic organisations - we elect councillors to serve, and they are obliged to answer to us at town hall meetings. We can have more of a say about what our communities look like.
Plus, insourcing is POPULAR!
- 61% of the public think that local and central government should try to run services in-house first – before outsourcing
- 64% of us distrust outsourcing companies
Every change to an outsourced service can mean spending money and time on changing the contract. Private providers often charge extortionate fees for providing out-of-contract services.
CASE STUDY - FLOODING IN CUMBRIA
1 in 3 outsourcing contracts signed between 2000 and 2007 have now been brought back in house. The collapse of Carillion was a 'watershed moment' for privatisation. Help us empower and encourage councils to end local privatisation and bring services in house!