News that Barnet council is ending its contract with Connaught for repairs to council homes does not come as a surprise. The company is in financial trouble and has been falling behind on repairs. Council tenants hve been paying the price for the difficulties experienced by a private company. And Barnet residents collectively have to bear the difficulties that follow the council ending the contract.
Connaught workers themselves were first transfered to Barnet Homes and then to Connaught when repairs were outsourced. They have been moved from pillar to post. Needless to say, their jobs have only got harder as they have moved further away from direct council employment. Now, at least, they hope to come back closer to inhouse, and be transfered back to Barnet Homes.
The Connaught saga shows the dangers of adopting the easyCouncil outscourcing model. As far as possible, we should keep services provided inhouse, where they can be accountable to Barnet residents, and all the money spent on them goes into providing a good service, not the profits of a private company.
Read the Times series report here.