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

Maintaining market principles: Government auditors, PPP equity sales and hegemony: Public sector reforms, public private partnerships and whole government accounting

Article by Stewart Smyth and Dexter Whitfield in Accounting Forum journal. The UK’s government auditors, the National Audit office (NAO), play a central role in the accountability relations surrounding government expenditure. Commonly portrayed as being independent, they carry out performance audits assessing value for money. To date the emerging market for PPP equity transactions has attracted little attention. This paper explores that emerging market through a Gramscian framework utilising the concepts of ‘common sense’ and ‘good sense’, focusing on a dialogical analysis of a NAO report. Open Access download: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.accfor.2016.06.003

2016-09-14 08:22:14
PFI schools built in Scotland owned by offshore firms

An hour-long BBC television ‘Scotland Investigates’ programme on 22 August revealed evidence by Dexter Whitfield that over 80% of Scotland’s PFI schools are partly or wholly owned in offshore tax havens. The programme investigated the cause of the closure of 17 Edinburgh schools for repairs after construction defaults were found. Equity in this project had been sold 13 times. Part of the interview was on the BBC Television National 6.00pm news and was the lead item on the Scottish News. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-37135611 A detailed ESSU Research Report on secondary market infrastructure funds will be published shortly.

2016-08-28 08:56:31
Statement to Somerset County Council on outsourcing Learning Disabilities Service

A joint UNITE Somerset and European Service Strategy Unit statement summarising the case against the planned outsourcing of the Learning Disability Service. It exposes fundamental flaws and negligent practice, which indicate the Council has not learnt the lessons of the failed PPP Strategic Partnership contract with IBM.

2016-07-15 08:47:44
Flawed PFI schools cost Edinburgh £100m too much

The additional cost of PFI for the PPP1 schools project is estimated to be £104m compared to the cost of direct provision by the City Council. Offshore infrastructure funds own a majority of equity in the special purpose company and 100 percent of equity in the PPP2 project. http://www.scotsman.com/business/flawed-schools-cost-capital-100m-too-much-say s- pfi-expert-1-4102451

2016-04-18 14:48:09
Salford Star exposes massive PFI profits at Salford Royal Hospital

A prime example of connecting the £11.5m profit from Balfour Beatty’s 50% stake in the PFI special purpose company to the HICL offshore infrastructure fund generating a 19% return; the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust’s forecast of a £14.9m deficit this year; a £17m PFI payment due in 2016 towards the total project cost of £705m for building works that cost £137m; and the junior doctors strike: http://salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=3190

2016-04-11 16:35:35
SERCO pays £4m after contract terminated

The New Zealand Department of Corrections took over management of Serco’s 10-year NZ$300m Mount Eden remand prison contract in 2015 after just four years. Serco has now agreed to pay £4m for the cost of state intervention and outstanding performance penalties. It is limited to a labour supply agreement at cost until 31 March 2017.

2016-04-11 15:35:32

Latest Publications

Chinese translation of social impact bonds critique

China Social Welfare journal have published a 6,000-word summary of the Alternative to Private Finance of the Welfare State, a global analysis of Social Impact Bond, Pay-for-Success and Development Impact Bond projects by Dexter Whitfield. Thanks to Prof. Li Bing, Beijing.

2016-09-23 15:02:52
Direct and Collateral Damage to Barnet Libraries

Analysis of Barnet Council’s proposals for the Library Service – 46% job loss and 70% cut in hours. 72% of library opening hours will be unstaffed technology-enabled opening with 10% being volunteer-supported. Highlights widespread community opposition, flawed economics and the false claims made to justify the transfer or outsourcing of the Library Service.

2016-03-22 14:24:39
Outsourcing, Cuts, Job Losses & New Operating Model: Adult Social Care in Barnet

Analysis of planned new operating model for Adult Social Care in London Borough of Barnet in parallel with £18.5m cuts over 4 years. Model relies heavily on volunteers and asserts that community and voluntary organisations will be ‘equal partners’. Barnet UNISON makes a series of proposals to radically change the Council’s and its consultants approach and planned outsourcing.

2015-11-10 09:34:05
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
ESSU Research Report No. 7: 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

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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 2016-02-17 14:19:44.
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