Outsourcing is a problem, not a solution, say Opposition councillors at Devon County Council

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Councillor Yvonne Atkinson (Exeter, Labour) proposed this motion at Devon’s Cabinet yesterday:

This Council is concerned that outsourcing Devon County Council (DCC) contracts can reduce financial flexibility and the ability to respond to changes in policies and facilitate effective cross department working across interrelated DCC services in complex areas like the health and wellbeing of children. Accordingly, DCC can no longer afford to be locked into long term, difficult if not impossible to vary contractual schemes for services like Children and Mental Health if it wishes to remain responsive to the needs of Children from birth to age 25.

In view of cross party concern to fully and effectively integrate cross department working in children’s health and mental health services and education Devon County Council should bring back key services in-house and manage them in the wider public interest including value for money (defined broadly to include effects on public revenues and community wellbeing at large) and social value tests.

The Conservative Cabinet did not accept this but you can watch to the debate starting with Yvonne’s speech and concluding with mine, which focused on the failure of outsourcing in Highways – especially the botched handover between contractors last year.

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