Archive of key Centre for Public Services and SCAT reports

Important documents on a range of public policy issues produced between 1973 and late 1990s.

  • Public Service Analysis, Issue 1, Spring 1997

    Articles on The Post Office: A privatisation too far; school meals – children’s health; research on the scale of externalisation of council services; private finance – the future for public services and government outsourcing study ignores equalities.

  • Social & Economic Audit, Down Lisburn Trust, Northern Ireland, UNISON, 1995

    An analysis of the costs of tendering services at the Down Lisburn NHS Trust affecting nearly 500 staff. It forecasts the savings claimed by the Trust will be significantly reduced or eliminated by client costs. Many of the staff live in three wards that are amongst the most deprived wards in Northern Ireland.

  • Social & Economic Audit, Royal Hospital Trust, Belfast, September 1993

    A social and economic audit of plans to run-down the Royal Hospital in West Belfast in 1993 by transferring several specialities to the City Hospital. Examines the job losses and equality impacts, the potential impact on West Belfast and the public costs of unemployment. Calculation of the jobs multiplier and the public cost of unemployment are the Appendices. UNISON campaign was successful (28 pages).

  • The Bradford Experiment: Counting the Cost, Bradford NALGO, researched by Services to Community Action & Trade Unions, March 1990.

    A hard-hitting report by Bradford NALGO which examines the sweeping changes from the time the Conservatives narrowly gained control of Bradford Council in October 1988, until the setting of the Poll Tax in March 1990. It outlines the local Tory strategy and national significance of The Bradford Experiment; describes the scale and impact of cuts and restructuring; provides a critical analysis of Bradford Council’s commercialisation strategy; looks in detail at what the Bradford Experiment has meant for users of services; examines the impact of these changes on the local economy; and draws out lessons to be learnt (36 pages).

  • Public Service Practice

    A series of best practice reports on key aspects of public management.

    The Public Service Practice Series aims to give advice and guidance to public policy professionals about the progressive implementation of modernisation and other initiatives while retaining a focus on broader issues of social justice, equalities, staff and user involvement and community well being.

    A Handbook for Checking Specifications (PSP6) Not Available

    For contracts and service level agreements (May 1995). Covered specification strategy and performance standards, Quality Plan, method statements, equal opportunities, environmental policy, monitoring performance, contract conditions and quantifying the work.

    Best Value Implementation Handbookk (PSP8) Not Available

    A guide to implementing Best Value, incorporating the Best Value Code for Quality Employment (November 1998). Contents: Best Value strategic management framework. Corporate policies, strategic objectives and definition of Best Value. Performance standards, indicators and benchmarking. User, employee and public involvement. Best Value Code for Quality Employment. Implementation plan. Baseline profile. Service reviews and competitiveness policy. Local Performance Plan for continuous improvement.

    2004-03-17 10:30:44

    A detailed handbook for equal opportunities in competitive tendering. Not Available
    Contents: Legislative context. Who should be involved. Building equalities into the key stages of the tendering process. Implementing equalities in Direct Service Organisations. Trade union guidance.

    2004-03-17 12:43:25

    Management Consultants: A Best Value Handbook (PSP9)

    A practical guide for local authorities, health and public bodies, trade unions and community organisations (December 1999). Assessing the need for consultants. Best Value selection and evaluation of consultants. Negotiating model agreements. Trade union options and strategies. Guidance for community organisations. Consultants in Best Value and PPP projects. Assessing consultants proposals. The consultancy market. Appendices: Company profiles. Codes of practice and professional conduct.

    2004-03-17 09:59:44

    Public Services and Business Plans (PSP5)

    A detailed handbook for developing public service planning (February 1993). Planning the future of public services. Designing plans for the public sector. Planning and the 'internal market'. Organising the planning process. Useful planning techniques. Preparing a public service plan. Presenting and using the plan.

    2004-03-17 12:29:15

    Strategy for Best Value

    Guidance for developing Best Value Strategies (October 1997). Contents: Government Proposals. A seven part definition of Best Value. How should Best Value be assessed? Which services will it cover? Employee and user involvement. Achieving social justice through Best Value Re-organising in-house services. Examining market testing options. Corporate policies. New opportunities for DSOs. Public management and Best Value. Resource issues.

    2004-03-17 14:02:38

    Tender Evaluation (PSP1) Not Available

    A detailed handbook for Tender Evaluation in white collar, professional and manual services (March 1994). Contents: Preparing for tender evaluation. Trade union and user role in tender evaluation. Balancing quality and price. Compliance with specification and contract conditions. Technical and quality assessment. Evaluation matrix. Environment assessment. Financial assessment. TUPE policy. Contract decision. Technical and quality assessment. Best Practice: Accounting for all the costs and benefits.

    2004-03-17 13:36:36

    User/Employee Involvement in Best Value, PFI and Partnerships (PSP7) Not Available

    A handbook for local authorities, health and other public bodies, user and community organisations and trade unions (April 1998). Covered ppolicy changes affecting user/employee involvement, defining the user/employee relationship, user/employee involvement in assessing Best Value and continuous improvement, trade unions and user organisations working together, equal opportunities and social justice best practice, user involvement and participation techniques and a public service quality framework.

    2004-03-17 10:59:46

    In this section:

  • Their Business Your Public Service: Lincolnshire’s Enabling Experience, East Midlands UNISON, researched by Centre for Public Services, April 1993

    Lincolnshire County Council was one of the first local authorities in Britain to adopt the enabling model of local government in the early 1990’s. The report examines the enabling model, Lincolnshire’s approach to enabling through business units and an internal market, the performance of business units, business planning, and assesses the impact on service users and staff. Summarises similar approaches in other local authorities (44 pages).

  • Public Service Action: An Anti-Privatisation Newsletter for the Labour Movement

    Fifty-six issues were produced between 1983-1997 contained news, analysis and information focusing on key issues and developments in the public and recently privatised sectors. Each 16-page issue reported on contract failures, campaigns and industrial action, company information, research, policy and legislative changes with a print run of 10,000 copies. Sample of five issues:

    Public Service Action No 55 and 56: Rebuikding the welfare state - Equal Pay Wins - MoD head for privatisation binge - New deals, profits and taxpayer losses - Heavy toll on jobs - PFI Consortia: who's who - PFI the big lie - Who benefits from CCT - Critical eye on agency model - Rail carve-up for private firms

    Public Service Action No 54 1996: Royal Mail Sale?- Benefit contracts – MoD Homes sell-off – Women secure big discrimination pay-outs – Fall-out spreads over nuclear sale – Labour takes the consensus route – PFI: USA style – PFI: showpiece or shambles – Poverty on the increase – CCT Pressure increases – Contractor update

    Public Service Action No 52 1995: PFI boost for private services – Demands to curb bus wars – Too little too late from the budget – Tenants lobby MPs – Union campaign against Pall Mall – Externalisation stopped – DSO sell-offs – Catering contractors – Private contractors who’s who – EOC calls for suspension of CCT in Northern Ireland – New CCT rules

    Public Service Action No 44 February 1991: Waste deal – Alternative Care Plan – Business as usual – Power sell-off – A revitalised British Rail – NHS: Opting and contracting out – Transfer market – Contract analysis

    Public Service Action No 36 July 1988: Visible hand- DHSS danger warning – Privatised management – Private in-roads – Testing the market – Profit samples: private pathology – Mis-use of units costs and rates – At their leisure – Cashing the Giro – End of the Road – National Bus Company – We are not for sale

    Public Service Action No 5 Nov/Dec 1983: Cleaning firm exposed – BT: the fight goes on – Westminster: forging links – Training profits – Special supplement: Facts and fantasies: Buying shares in privatised public assets – Private power – NHS: action build-up

  • Best?Value

    A new guide book which explains both the threats and opportunities of best value. The guide explains both the threats and opportunities of Best value. The threats include the pressure for competition and a new outsourcing, externalisation and privatisation agenda replacing CCT; superficial consultation paying lip service to community organisations and employees; and the threat of of an inspection, surveillance and auditing implosion diverting badly needed resources from frontline services.

  • CCT on the Record, Local government Information Unit, 1994

    A review of the experience of Compulsory Competitive Tendering under the Local Government Act 1988. Includes sections on the effects on services and jobs, claimed savings and the consequences of the baling model of local government.

  • Public Housing News

    A NALGO/SCAT Housing Landlord Information Service was launched in 1989 to establish a database of new landlords seeking to takeover council housing and to report on tenant organisations and NALGO Branch campaigns to stop estate/whole stock transfers, Housing Action Trusts and other policies to privatise UK council housing. Public Housing News was published bi-monthly. The project was provided in-house by NALGO for several years from 1992.

  • Competition, Cuts and Contractors: Lessons for trade unionists from three flagship London Boroughs, 1992

    Detailed study of outsourcing and commercialisation in Westminster, Wandsworth and Kensington and Chelsea for NALGO, including contracts, costs, job impacts and the effect on services. Identifies the lessons for trade union strategies and wider policy implications (58 pages).

  • Counting the Cost, 1995

    Commissioned by East Midlands UNISON, it analysis the gender impact and public costs of Compulsory Competitive Tendering in the region, the impact on women workers and the regional economy (32 pages).

  • Campaigning for Care in Social Services, 1985

    A comprehensive National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) action pack, produced by Services to Community Action and Trade Unions (SCAT) which includes Developing Alternative Demands to Improve Services includes developing plans and explains why cooperatives are not the answer (4 pages); Trade Unionists Guide to Value for Money explains effectiveness, efficiency, economy and value for money, the use of management consultants and the myth of independence (8 pages); Developing Joint Action and User Committees includes building alliances and examples of joint action (4 pages); and others on organising, campaigning, developing strategies and monitoring agency staffing, volunteers, private contractors and private residential homes.

  • SCAT Privatisation Briefings on Improving Jobs and Services, 1985

    Alternative Demands explains why alternative demands are needed, what should be covered, developing joint worker/user plans and examples of alternative public sector plans (6 pages).

    Contractors: Job Losses & Wage Cuts details job losses from competitive tendering, wage cuts and other terms and conditions (4 pages).

    Trade Union Action Against Contractors provides advice on action to take at different stages of the tendering process and cost comparisons (8 pages).

  • Externalisation by Privatisation, 1997

    Details the scale of privatisation by the sale of Direct Service Organisations, management buyouts, leisure trusts and large-scale voluntary transfer of council housing. Assesses the impact on jobs and employment policies, the effect on local authorities and local economies and the growth of an externalisation market, for UNISON (44 pages).

  • Externalisation by Privatisation: Trade Union Strategy, 1998

    Makes the case against externalisation, a detailed discussion on trade union strategies and a checklist of questions to challenge local authorities, consultants and contractors, for UNISON (20 pages).

  • Taken to the Cleaners: The Lincolnshire Experience, East Midlands NUPE and NALGO, researched by Services to Community Action & Trade Unions, November 1988

    An investigation of the impact of outsourcing school cleaning by Lincolnshire County Council to ISS, the Danish-based multinational cleaning company. The County Council claimed savings of £351,000 but cleaning staff were literally robbed of £450,000 through wage cuts. Visits to schools around the County revealed systemic problems of incomplete and poor quality, high staff turnover and staff shortages, lack of training and inadequate monitoring. Includes an analysis of school cleaning in other local authorities, and commentary on the appraisal, evaluation and monitoring of contracts. Concludes with 16 key lessons (40 pages).

  • We Are NOT for Sale – Part 1, 1985

    Sets out a ten-point action plan to fight estate sales ranging from planning an effective campaign to developing alternatives, building alliances and strengthening tenants’ organisations. Concludes with a 118-question checklist divided into sections about challenging local authorities, developers, the government and housing associations (32 pages).

  • We are NOT for Sale – Part 2, 1989

    Sets out the detailed implications of the 1986 and 1988 Housing Acts which legislated for Housing Action Trusts (to improve estates and sell them to private landlords, developers, housing associations or co-ops), estate and whole stock transfers to housing associations and the privatisation of management and maintenance of estates. The government sought to extend a free market in private rented housing and sought to attract large institutional investors to become landlords. Draws on lessons of tenants campaigns around Britain since the action guide was published in 1985. (48 pages).

  • Cashing in on Care, National Union of Public Employees and Services to Community Action & Trade Unions, 1984

    Exposes the effects of attempts to reduce and remould key parts of the welfare state and a Victorian version of ‘community care’. It identifies unmet needs, the impact of spending cuts, and the increasing use of volunteers. The growth of the private homes business is described as ‘tender loving neglect’ and shows the increasing use of private contractors. The report charts the impact on workers in social services and how the crisis in care and the welfare state is deepening. It concludes with alternative policies and action strategies (36 pages).

  • Cleaning Up, Hawley Group plc, 1985

    A SCAT Publications expose of a ruthless cleaning contractor that launched Mediclean Ltd in 1982 to bid for NHS contracts. Victorian values – Victorian wages summed up their approach, led by one Michael Ashcroft, later Lord Ashcroft and a former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party (8 pages).

  • Housing Management Compulsory Competitive Tendering in London, 1996

    Examines the pattern of bidding by private contractors and housing associations and the award of contracts to manage council housing in London Boroughs. Assesses pricing information and average tender unit costs. Commissioned by Greater London UNISON (18 pages).

  • Demolishing the Myths: Housing and Jobs in South Tyneside, 1980

    Commissioned by South Shields Trades Council, this report examines the relationship between housing policy and industrial policies and employment in an area of industrial decline and change. It is a critical analysis of attempting to expand the private housing market through the sale of council housing and land to attract industrial investment (48 pages).

  • New Initiatives to Improve & Expand Jobs and Services in Darlington, Shop Stewards Committee & SCAT

    Results of a Improving Jobs and Services Survey of the Employment and Public Services Department, Darlington Borough Council, that examined job control and satisfaction, ideas for improving services and links between workers and service users, and health and safety issues. The Shop Stewards Committee were involved in the design of the survey and held a series of meetings to discuss the results, recommendations, prepare the report and took the photos (1986 -  28 pages).

  • High and Dry: A unique action guide based on successful campaigns by tenants against damp and defects, 1984

    Four tenants associations from Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds formed an alliance, the Yorkshire Development Tenants Action Group that succeeded in getting 1,900 damp and defective flats demolished. This report describes how it was done, the mistakes and the lessons learnt (48 pages).

    Investigating Your Building System

    A 12-page guide to gathering information about the building system used for your estate - addressed mainly for tenants in systems housing.

  • Privatisation Audit: Public Cost of Private Contractors, 1985

    Produced for Sheffield City Council and details the potential impact of outsourcing on local authority jobs in the city, the effect on the local economy and accelerate changes in the labour market. Quantifies public sector costs and national implications (64 pages).

  • Homes: New Crisis Looms, 1981

    An overview of a looming housing crisis – house building back to the 1920s, rocketing rents, increased subsidies for private housing, improvement slows, repairs backlogs rise. Makes the case why housing is important for the labour movement and provides examples of local organising and action (4 pages).

    London’s Homes – The Fight Is On, 1981 – Proposes radical alternatives in response to London’s housing crisis as conditions worsen, jobs are lost, rents rise and council housing is sold. Suggests various ways for increased tenant and trade union cooperation. For NUPE London regions (4 pages).

  • Privatisation briefings

    BIG Business is after your job, 1982, explains the threat of privatisation, what it means for jobs, services and users, and developing strategies, for NUPE London Division (4 pages).

    Social Services for Sale, 1984, shoes how children, the elderly and disabled bear the brunt of cuts and privatisation, the effects of rate capping and cashing in on care, NUPE London and East Midlands (4 pages). 50,000 copies were distributed nationally.

  • Project to Defend and Improve Local Authority Services and Jobs, Sheffield City Council, 1985/86

    We’re Coming Out from under the carpet: Job Satisfaction Cleaners & Caretakers – the results of a job satisfaction survey of school cleaners and caretakers – more quality training, better communications between management and staff, improved equipment and cleaning materials and 35% said women were discriminated against in promotion opportunities (16 pages).

    Fight Rate Capping, Privatisation and Cuts: Job Satisfaction Survey Parks & Recreation – the results of a job satisfaction survey in the city council’s Parks and Recreation Department, 73% of frontline workers and 80% of administrative staff wanted more control over their work, greater involvement and better training (16 pages).

    Contract on Cleansing briefing – the value of public cleaning, examples of private contractors fines and failures, cleansing job losses in outsourced contracts and the impact on wages and conditions (4 pages).

  • The Great Sales Robbery: the sale of Council Housing, 1976 and 1980 Editions

    Details asset stripping of the public sector, explains why council housing is important, who's demanding the sale of council housing, why sales are disastrous, alternatives to sales and action strategies. Published in 1980 and supported by 50 national, regional and city-wide tenants organisations, trade unions and other organisations, this is an expanded version of the first edition published in 1976, which sold 8,000 copies. Correctly predicted the development of sales and the housing and financial consequences (28 pages).

  • Up Against a Brickwall: The dead-end in housing policy, National Union of Public Employees and Services to Community Action & Trade Unions, February, 1978

    Since the election of the Labour Government in February 1974, the struggle to achieve decent housing for all sections of the community has suffered a number of major setbacks. First, by October 1977 the Government had cut an estimated £1,250m from the housing programme. Second, under the guise of ‘rationalisation’, the Government has introduced tough measures to curb the degree of autonomy of local councils over the size and scope of their housing programmes. Third, there have been major moves to expand the private housing market at the expense of council housing. This pamphlet is designed to illustrate the housing crisis facing working people and describes the impact of the crisis on working class areas. It is intended to be a major contribution to the debate now taking place throughout Britain on the Government’s housing green paper (60 pages).

  • The Future of Business Development Centres in Newcastle

    The Newcastle City Council’s Business Development Centres are very successful in contributing to implementing the City Council’s corporate and economic development policies and have generated a large number of businesses which would not otherwise have started or survived. However, they were threatened major budget cuts and/or outsourcing in 1999. This report recommends their retention as a key economic development strategy and draws on experience in Birmingham.