European Services Strategy Unit

The European Services Strategy Unit is committed to social justice through the provision of good quality public services by democratically accountable public bodies implementing best practice management, employment, equal opportunity and sustainable development policies. It is an independent, non-profit organisation, which continues the work of the Centre for Public Services, founded in 1973.

ESSU provides detailed research and analysis of regional and city economies and public sector provision; critical analysis of marketisation and privatisation; service improvement and public management; infrastructure and public private partnerships; jobs and employment policies; and impact assessment for government, public bodies, trade unions and community organisations.

ESSU produces a range of publications which are free to download.

The Outsourcing and PPP Library provides analysis and information on the consequences of outsourcing public services, Public Private Partnerships, PFI projects and strategic partnerships.

Latest News and Events

Capitalist Dynamics Reconfiguring the State: Alternatives to privatising public services, by Dexter Whitfield

“What we are for is equally important as what we are against” was the theme of a large public meeting on 16 September at Nottingham University. The presentation described the dynamic forces, public sector ‘transformation’ and set out alternative strategies to regenerate public services. The meeting was jointly organized by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, Spokesman Books, the Centre of the Study of Social and Global Justice and University and College Union.

2015-09-19 12:11:53
The New Health and Social Care Economy

A major study of the New Health and Social Care Economy was launched at a Integrate Care Council event in Birmingham on 1 July. The 96-page report is a definitive analysis of the Sefton MBC, Liverpool and Greater Manchester City Regions and the North West regional economy. - and-social-care/the-new-health-and-social-care-economy-dexte/the-new-health-an d- social-care-economy-full-report.pdf

2015-07-02 13:35:26
A Decade of Downloads

466,574 documents (doc and pdf), presentations and spreadsheets have been downloaded from this ESSU/CPS website since June 2005 with a global reach – a very significant record for a small organisation. Many documents are also available on the websites of organisations that commissioned research and analysis, thus increasing the total to well over half a million downloads.

2015-06-04 15:16:32
Inquiry into the Future of Voluntary Services: The Ideological Context, Paper No. 4 - Dexter Whitfield

This paper for the National Coalition for Independent Action's Inquiry examines neoliberal ideology and objectives and their role in the transformation of public services and the welfare state. The paper highlights ways in which voluntary sector organisations are being drawn into the commercialisation and marketisation of public services and the effects of a contract culture. t- final.pdf Other Inquiry reports available from: eports/

2014-06-19 17:10:41
Unmasking Austerity: Opposition and Alternatives in Europe and North America, by Dexter Whitfield, Spokesman Books (eBook)

Exposes how austerity policies have fuelled the fire of recession rather than stimulated growth. It identifies key lessons from organising and action against such policies, and urges a rethink of trade union, community and social movement strategies to overcome austerity. Unmasking Austerity examines the deeper causes of the financial crisis, and exposes the manufactured crises, which are being used to dismantle hard-earned labour rights and the welfare state. A radical alternative strategy includes economic stimulus, reconstruction of public services, faster fundamental reform of banks and financial markets, the elimination of corporate welfare that enriches big business, and strategies to increase labour’s share of national income. ePub: Amazon Kindle: ook/ dp/B00JQ6L6ZM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397661472&sr=8-1&keywords=unmasking+austerity

2014-04-22 08:50:28
London Fire Brigade’s Protective Equipment Group retained in-house

The Protective Equipment Group (PEG) provides specialist equipment, expertise and services ranging from respiratory and chemical protection to high line and water rescue. It employs 35 staff and operates 24/7/365 for emergency services. The service was included in the retendering of the fleet maintenance contract (a 21 year contract awarded to Babcock International), but the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority decided to retain the PEG service in-house following a report by ESSU for UNISON LFEPA and an officer cost assessment report.

2014-04-02 13:13:27

Latest Publications

Barnet’s Future Library Service: Library Review No 2

Barnet Council plan to cut Library workforce by nearly 50%, reduce staffed hours by 70%, four libraries will be run by volunteers, yet will spend £7.6m searching for a contractor. This report for Barnet UNISON examines the proposals at the start of a second public consultation.

2015-10-09 08:31:15
Alternative to Private Finance of the Welfare State: A global analysis of Social Impact Bond, Pay-for-Success & Development Impact Bond Projects, by Dexter Whitfield

The first detailed critical analysis of the growing global market in social impact bond projects and reveals that they are the latest new ‘buy-now-pay-later’ scheme to privatise public services and the welfare state. Details 30 financial and public policy flaws in these projects. Proposes an alternative strategy consisting of government and public sector plans for early intervention and prevention; Public Service Innovation and Improvement Plans at departmental or service level; and trade union/community alliances to develop strategies and scope for transnational action. Published jointly by ESSU and the Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre, University of Adelaide.

2015-09-11 12:33:13
The New Health and Social Care Economy – Dexter Whitfield

This ground-breaking report puts the health and social care sector at the centre of importance to achieve sustainable economic growth. Commissioned by New Directions, the definitive analysis covers Sefton MBC, Liverpool and Greater Manchester City Regions and the North West regional economy. It demonstrates the economic importance of the health and social care economy; sets out the terrain on which the integration of health and social care must take place including privatisation, inequalities, austerity, demographic change and quality jobs; and makes local and national 40 recommendations.

2015-07-02 12:59:48
Education & Skills and Catering: Threat of large-scale subcontracting

Barnet Council is in process of privatising Education and Skills including the catering service to Capita Group or Cambridge Education (Mott MacDonald). Capita’s joint venture with Staffordshire County Council subcontracted 87% of the staff to Chartwells after just two years of a 20-year contract. Both Barnet bidders are likely to subcontract catering which will impose additional risks on catering’s income generation and the workforce.

2015-06-09 14:13:34
Barnet Education & Skills and Catering: Analysis of Options Appraisal

The options ‘appraisal’ recommends a Joint Venture Company (Capita is the Council’s main contractor and withdrew from managing the procurement so that it could bid). But the appraisal is based almost entirely on assumptions, estimates, possibilities and other vagaries. This report shows how the in-house bid was constructively dismissed by ignoring key risks, simplistic evaluation and unsubstantiated growth forecasts for the JVC model.

2015-01-10 10:47:46
New Forms of Privatization

Keynote presentation by Dexter Whitfield at New Forms of Privatization: What they are and how to fight them international conference, Ottawa, Canada on 28-30 October 2014 organised by the National Union of Public and General Employees.

2014-11-05 15:56:04


European Services Strategy Unit, Duagh, Camp, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland.
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This document was created by Adam Moran on 2003-10-30 12:34:30.
This document was last modified by Chris Croome on 2012-01-09 12:28:40.
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