Last-ditch attempt by opposition to derail £1bn 'One Barnet' outsourcing contracts fails
Barnet outsourcing leader survives confidence vote
Barnet Council's leader Richard Cornelius survived a confidence vote yesterday over the controversial £1bn One Barnet outsourcing plan by 33 votes to 24.
Barnet Council is due to award two separate 10-year contracts through One Barnet in the next couple of months, with BT, Capita and EC Harris in the frame.
Addressing the council to propose a motion of 'no confidence in Barnet's Conservative leader and cabinet', Labour councillor Alison Moore, said, "we are now at the eleventh hour, with a decision (on one of the contracts) due on 6 December".
She said that there had been a lack of scrutiny, with cabinet refusing to release all the relevant documents. Moore said that the administration had failed to consider alternative ideas of proposals, arguing that a comparison of in-house and outsourced options should have been done at the start of the process.
Pointing to councils in Somerset, Edinburgh and Cornwall, she said that they have all "pulled back from the brink", adding that "big outsourcing contracts just do not cut the mustard anymore".
On One Barnet, Labour councillor Kath McGuirk added, "it is nothing more than a con trick...it is not about more for less, it is about less for less".
However, Conservative councillors strongly defended the plans. Council leader Richard Cornelius said "this process has been going on for three years, why is it an emergency now"? He added:"Outsourcing is not a dirty word- even Unison is outsourcing its IT department". He blamed those opposed to the project for disseminating "propaganda" and suggested that much of it was funded by trade unions.