Friday, September 29, 2006

More trouble for the Single Service Partnership

Southapton City Council Civic Centre

I have blogged before over the mismanagement of the 'Single Service Partnership' project that is rapidly turning into a fiasco in Southampton.
Things are not improving. After mass protests by staff (who have been badly informed by management and grossly ill-advised by Unison in the most reactionary way locally
(have a look at for a sanitised version of Unison's activities) the full council debated the project, mostly in secret session, on Wed 20th September.
Under pressure from the Conservatives (who seem to be the only political group with a handle on whats going on), the Council effectively put the project on hold for a couple of months and forced the ruling Lib-Dems to consider a bid from BT to run the council services under review in more detail as well as the one from Capita.
The principle reason for this is that the savings that Capita is offering the council are just too low- but as usual residents are promised huge improvements in that great intangible 'customer service'.
This means that it will be March of next year (assuming there is no more slippage) before a preffered bidder puts their final plans on the table with a decision planned upon them in late 2007. Bearing in mind the number of jobs (circa 800) and the importance of the departments involved (I.T.,H.R., housing, council tax and revenue collection) to the running of the council, the ruling Lib-Dems really need to get this right. The principle of privatisation is right- they just need to do it properly.


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