Over the last few months there has been substantial evidence that the Tories’ dogmatic approach to out-sourcing services in Bromley is failing:
- The three biggest tenders (waste services, street cleaning and exchequer services) each received bids from only one contractor. With so many companies being taken over by bigger ones, we are in a situation now where there is no real competition at all, and there is a serious danger of price-fixing and councils paying well over the odds for poor quality services in order to make ever-bigger profits for private shareholders
- Service levels are declining as staff are being paid less in order to boost profits. This is the case not only with library staff, but also within the council’s parking contract. A council report here is very clear in laying the blame for problems with the parking service on the fact that the contractor (APCOA) pays lower wages than its competitors in neighbouring boroughs.
The Labour Group will continue to keep a very watchful eye on all of this and to push for quality being more important than price when services are out to tender.