Privatisation is not just making a mess of our NHS. It is also making a mess of a whole host of Council services, including waste management.
An article by Greg Pitcher in today’s Local Government Chronicle reports that Greater Manchester Combined Authority has borrowed £500m to end its PFI waste deal with Viridor Laing.
It has done this in order to re-procure a cheaper waste management services contract with a private company. Viridor is among 6 companies that are in the running to win the contract. So Greater Manchster Combined Authority are paying £500m to buy out a contract so they can re-procure a cheaper one, possibly from the same company.
The Local Government Chronicle website provides a sorry saga of waste management services profiteering, rip offs and incompetence. The argument that private sector provision of public services would increase efficiency and value for money lies dead in the water. If it ever had any life in it, it certainly doesn’t now. Continue reading →
Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Campaign Group were out on the street in sunny Halifax on Saturday 11 July to launch their Calderdale Public Service Users petition, which is addressed to Calderdale Council.
Hundreds of people signed the petition and the campaigners were kept busy answering questions from passers by.
The Petition calls on Calderdale Council to set up a new procedure for providing public services, so that the Council:
is always the preferred provider
publicly justifies every decision to privatise services
only awards contracts to companies that observe both UK and international Human Rights Law, recognise Trade Unions, pay a living wage and have no history of fraud, tax dodging or endangering public or employees’ safety
fully informs the public about all public service contracts, at all stages- from what contracts cover to how the Council manages them
favours local companies and requires big contract winners to subcontract to local companies
Calderdale Council Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel will today (31 March 2015) scrutinise a proposal to set up a pilot that will test the outsourcing/privatisation of Community Social Work.
The cost-cutting aim is to turn the Council’s Support at Home social work service into a Public Service Mutual (PSM), along the lines of the “People to People” scheme in Shropshire – saving Calderdale Council £2.5m in 2017/18.
The Calderdale Community Social Work PSM would be set up in a form to allow ‘commercial’ or ‘investment’ funding; it would be profit-making and would allow staff to take 35% of the yearly profits. Continue reading →
Only a few months into the privatised wheelchair services contract, patients (and their parents, in the case of children who use wheelchairs) are complaining at their treatment by Opcare Ltd – the company that the Clinical Commissioning Groups awarded the contract to in 2014.
Cllr Megan Swift is investigating complaints by parents of children with disabilities.
Fern Bast, a Hebden Bridge resident with very restricted mobility and in constant pain as a result of spinal degeneration, has complained at the treatment she’s received from Opcare at their outreach clinic site in Halifax. Continue reading →
By mid afternoon on Saturday 30th August, over a hundred Hebden Bridge residents and visitors had signed the 38 Degrees Petition to Stop the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Deal at a stall in St George’s Square.
If the government signs up to the Treaty, this will effectively end the NHS, by opening it up to international trade laws that give private health care corporations more power than governments.
The NHS is already being damaged by cuts and privatisation. This process would accelerate, irreversibly, if the government signs up to TTIP.
Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body was in self congratulatory mode on 10th July as they approved the award of a £4m, 3 year Wheelchair Services contract to an as-yet unnamed bidder.
The bidder’s name will be revealed at the end of the 10 day “standstill” that follows the Governing Body’s decision.- Update 30/7/2014 – The contract has gone to a company called Opcare Ltd.
The hospitals Trust, which currently provides wheelchair services to patients in Calderdale, Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees, will lose the contract in September. The Trust already faces a £20m funding shortfall this financial year and the loss of this contract will further reduce its income. Continue reading →