The ‘Invitation to Tender’ (ITT) document for ‘PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FOR GETTING IT RIGHT PROJECT (SUPPORTING ACCESS WIRRAL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME)’ is most revealing for those interested in finding out where Wirral Council is heading. As far as we’re concerned its willingly over the precipice dancing to the Pied Piper of private enterprise.
Behind the convoluted branding and language the document simply sets out the means by which Wirral Council are seeking to outsource public services and put people out of work. Indeed the latter is explicitly stated in the specification of the contract at 2.1 of the ITT document : Reshape services to reduce significantly, over three to five years
The former is set out in the Scope of the tender at 1.1 as follows:
We have already undertaken significant work to develop our programme; we are implementing a new operating model which sets out the future operating principles of the organisation which includes a strategic hub, business management function and service delivery through a mixed economy of direct provision, shared service and commissioned outcomes
The council has also set out a commitment to take a commercial approach to service design, management and decisions, encouraging innovation whilst optimising assets and services to exploit opportunities to generate income surplus for reinvestment and reduce costs.
This ‘new operating model’ (mainly filched from elsewhere) apparently also includes ‘imaginative’plans for Wirral Council to become an energy provider!
This doesn’t augur well as the ruling administration at Wirral Council have an inglorious record of keeping the people of Wirral in the dark and freezing out the opposition.
Having said that the thought occurred to us that if you can’t beat ’em , join ’em . We thought momentarily that we’d join the serried ranks of ex- council employees topping up their pensions merrily making their former colleagues redundant and helping to hand over precious public assets into the private sector. Accordingly Leaky Towers Inc ; were considering an application to pick up the phones and respond to complaints etc; on behalf of the people of Wirral ( in return for a mahoosive contract). However our application stalled at Method Statement 5 which read :
How does your organisation use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems whilst demonstrating the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability?
All we can only presume that Wirral Council are particularly hoping for an explanation as to what public transparency and legal accountability actually are as they appear to be alien concepts.
Meanwhile the likes of ‘Capita’, ‘The Contact Company’ and the ‘Wirral Chamber of Commerce’ can only be licking their lips in anticipation of things to come.