New era for local public services
Direct delivery of council services by council staff will be the official default choice for Haringey Council as part of a groundbreaking new policy agreed by Cabinet last night.
In a significant shift in approach, the policy commits to a strategic insourcing review of all commissioned services when contracts come up for renewal and the development of a framework and implementation plan for in-house delivery of services over the longer term.
It will also create more jobs within the council for local people, broaden the range of skills held by the council workforce, and ensure the council gets the maximum value for taxpayers’ money. The policy supports the council’s Community Wealth Building approach to economic development by enabling the council to keep wealth in the local community, keep public assets in public ownership, offer quality employment opportunities that are accessible to local residents, and create social wealth and enhance community activity. It will also make it easier for the council to control environmental considerations and sustainability commitments, and boost work to ensure every pound spent goes back into the local area.
Haringey already has a strong baseline in delivering services in-house that are commonly outsourced by other comparable local authorities, such as parking enforcement. The borough has already agreed to bring facilities management and CCTV operations back in-house and 27 new jobs have been created in Children’s Services as part of “invest to save” proposals. A full plan for further insourcing will be produced by March 2020.
In-house delivery will always be the first choice, where it is legal and deliverable. Where it is not possible, Cabinet has also agreed a new procurement strategy to address the significant budgetary, social, economic and environmental challenges the council is facing over the next few years. This strategy will ensure that Community Wealth Building, value for money, social value, being more commercial and improving efficiency are at the forefront of our approach.
A quarter of Haringey’s contract expenditure already goes to local businesses and our Strategic Procurement department was the 2019 winner of the Best Small Business-Friendly Procurement to Support Local Business. Haringey also has the largest portfolio of Dynamic Purchasing Systems in local government, which support small and medium enterprises and local businesses to access public procurement opportunities.
This new strategy will build on that while ensuring payment of London Living Wage is adopted throughout our supply chain, and encouraging suppliers to be based within the borough.
Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, Leader of Haringey Council, said:
My administration has been clear that we want to be delivering the services that our residents need, directly to them, and we want them to be even better than they are now. We are moving to reverse at a local level the almost 40-year national drive towards outsourcing – it won’t be easy. But it is vital that we offer local services for local people, make sure every penny that we spend achieves maximum benefit for the community, and increase quality job opportunities and conditions for residents. In Haringey we have a strong starting point: we have retained in-house many services which have been outsourced elsewhere and have made good progress in bringing more services in-house. Where we do procure, 25% of our contract expenditure already goes to local businesses. The introduction of this policy signals our commitment to build on this work.
Last night Haringey’s Cabinet also agreed a new Community Wealth Building plan.