Nearly £12m worth of council services in the London Borough of Hackney will be reclaimed every year from private companies as part of a new council strategy to deliver better, more reliable public services in-house rather than outsourcing them.
More than 360 cleaning, maintenance and parking enforcement staff will be transferred to Hackney Council employment by March 2022, under a plan to bring in services from for-profit companies.
The model sets out the process by which all outsourced contracts will be reviewed according to quality, performance, value for money and staff terms and conditions, in order to explore whether they can be insourced.
The move is part of the council’s work to rebuild a fairer local economy after the Covid-19 pandemic, using its land, assets and services for the public good, as well as creating quality and fair employment opportunities for the borough’s residents.
Between January 2020 and March 2022, five services worth £11.6m will have been insourced under the policy, including:
- Schools caretaking and cleaning services, worth £2.5m, with 116 staff brought back in-house to the council and schools in January 2020.
- Gully and winter cleansing service, worth £300k, brought back in-house in September 2020.
- Office cleaning service, worth £1.8m, with 110 staff brought back in-house in January 2021.
- Fleet maintenance service, worth £1.4m, with 10 staff due to be brought back in-house in April 2021.
- Parking enforcement, worth £5.6m, with 132 staff due to be brought back in-house in March 2022.
These decisions build on the council’s record of insourcing other services over more than a decade, including its benefits, recruitment, waste collection, IT and jobs teams.
Commenting, Hackney Council’s Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Finance, Housing Needs and Supply, Councillor Rebecca Rennison said: “The whole country has seen over the last year what can happen when contracts are outsourced to the private sector by default without the right checks and balances to ensure taxpayers are getting a high quality and cost-effective service they can rely on.
“Residents want to see their council services run by local, committed public servants that understand their community and can respond quickly in a crisis, not unaccountable private companies.
“That’s always been our policy, but delivering on our 2018 manifesto commitment, we now want to turbocharge insourcing as we rebuild a fairer local economy and recover from Coronavirus, spending our money in the borough wherever possible and employing more local people.”