HACKNEY Council has decided to insource the Parking Enforcement service, moving its operation and staff from the private operator to working directly for the Council.
Labour Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “Transferring a service back into the council isn’t easy. We need to guarantee we have the resource and expertise to operate it, and have enough time before the contract is up to review and consult with staff.
“But we have already shown that insourcing is possible. We have shown that the Tory model of EasyCouncils like Barnet ─ where services are run by the private sector at an arm’s-length from the public ─ is unnecessary, unaccountable and inefficient.
“The lesson from the first two phases of Covid is also clear that insourced services are more flexible and responsive in a crisis, from our humanitarian response to local contact tracing we have been cheaper, grounded in the community, more culturally competent and outperformed remote national outsourced contracts.”
In the Hackney Labour election manifesto of 2018, Hackney Labour committed to review all “outsourced” services at Hackney Council ─ services that are operated by private companies, on a contract with the Council ─ with a view to “insourcing” them.
Hackney Council already has a good track record of transferring services back into public ownership ─ Waste & Recycling, Building Maintenance, ICT and our Domestic Violence Services have all been brought back in-house.
Earlier this year, some of School Cleaners were brought back in-house, meaning 90 cleaning staff transferred over to the public sector from a failed outsourced contractor.
Hackney Labour believes in the public sector running services for the public good, and not by for-profit companies and corporations from outside the Borough.
Once the service has moved over to the Council, a review and restructure of the staff terms and conditions will begin, with an aim to improve them through this process. All existing job posts will be protected under the plans. The new service will also be able to focus more time on other tasks such as air pollution and idling enforcement.
Mayor Glanville added: “At every step of the way, we will consult and engage with our trade union colleagues to make sure the transition into public ownership is just and fair.
“We know that directly running council services is more efficient, saving Council tax payers money, improves the quality of services, makes them more accountable to local residents, and guarantees the council’s high standards of pay and terms and conditions it expects for its staff.
“Moving the Parking Enforcement contract is no exception and is expected to save the Council money, because we won’t be covering the profits of the private company anymore.”
Cllr Jon Burke, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm, commented: “Building on Hackney Council’s reputation for bringing services under full public ownership and control, we committed in our 2018 manifesto to reviewing all outsourced services with a view to bringing them in-house.
“I’m delighted to be overseeing the insourcing of Parking Enforcement – which plays a crucial role in ensuring adequate parking for local residents and safeguarding our borough from excess traffic and pollution – as the next step in our journey to ensure greater public ownership and control of local government services.
“By bringing Parking Enforcement in-house, officers – who often live locally can look forward to increased opportunities for progression, which will help tackle inequality and support the local economy. We will be consulting with staff and trade unions on the changes from February next year.”
To view the report presented to Cabinet Procurement Committee, visit: https://hackney.gov.uk/council-business
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