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. Other Inquiry reports available from: http://www.independentaction.net/category/inquiry-voluntary-services/updates-reports/
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 available from Spokesman Books and Amazon.
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.
LFEPA Response to UNISON report – FEP 2237A (27 March 2014) and the LFEPA Report retaining PEG in-house FEP 2237 (27 March 2014) Procurement Process for the Authority’s Vehicles and Equipment Contract and the Protective Equipment Services.
The number of PPP strategic partnerships has increased 35% in just two years with 18 additional contracts valued at £8bn. 60 contracts are currently operating, four were terminated and one completed the contract term, but was not renewed. A further two are being terminated in 2014. Strategic partnerships originated in ICT and corporate services, but have extended into planning, education, police, fire and rescue and property services. The failure rate is very high – nearly 1 in 4 contracts are either terminated, reduce scope as services are brought back in-house, and/or suffer major financial and operational problems. Savings, new business and new jobs targets continue to be illusive.