10 July 2012

Barnet Council employees - want to be your own boss?

Eat this and you get a certificate; the Harry Ramsden's Big Fish challenge

and now a different sort of challenge. A press release from the Communities and Local Government department.

Community Right to Challenge comes into force

Published 27 June 2012

From today more communities will be able to bid to take over local services they think they can run differently and better as the Community Right to Challenge provisions come into effect.

The Community Right to Challenge hands more power back to communities, allowing voluntary and community groups, parish councils and local authority staff to express an interest in taking over the running of local authority services, making services more responsive to local needs and delivering better value for money.

Also from today a range of specialist support is being put in place to help community groups wanting to take greater control of their community through every stage of the process - from setting up a group and developing a proposal right through to the delivering services on the ground.

The Social Investment Business, in partnership with Locality and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations will deliver a three year support programme worth £11.5million. The programme will include a dedicated advice phone line where support and information will be available. It will also include grants to help groups to use the new right and bid to run local public services, resources, and case studies.

Now is your chance to break free of the shackles of the toxic One Barnet nonsense and get together with your colleagues to run your service. Remove all those layers of management and provide a proper service at a lower price by streamlining the service as you know best what needs to be done and how to do it.
Cemetery staff; do you need telling how to run a funeral? No, you don't. Put in a bid to run the cemetery yourselves.

Building controllers; you are the technical experts. Put down your own foundations and build a new business.

Who else could go it alone? These, for starters:

Parking permit team

Internal audit - become external internal audit

Highways - all of it - as separate companies

Payroll - an easy service to hive off

Communications - talk amongst yourselves about this idea

Revs & Bens - get Dave Sharpe onto this as he may have the free time?

Print & Document management - lease some kit and some space and press the go button.

Estates management - you are out of sight half the time anyway doing your work - you could easily manage the estates of the council and others.

Accounts payable - you could work on your own account

So at your tea break or lunch today why not sit down with a colleague and have a chat. Chop the department up into logical segments that could be run as stand-alone businesses and start working on your ideas. Do not take any information that is not already in the public domain (we don't want another Finance for Schools type investigation) or do anything improper or against the interests of your employer.

Best to start on this website, My Community Rights

Well, what are you waiting for. Get on with it. You are now the boss. Please also spread the word around other departments.

Don't let the fact that you are part of the DRS or NSCSO sell-offs and that Barnet council can accordingly reject your challenge. Any open organisation which is genuinely looking for savings will appreciate having a second price to consider.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. This strikes me as a fairly regressive piece of legislation.

    It encourages volunteers, rather than paying people to provide public services. If Barnet council feels like a prison for its employees that is probably because they are about to be flogged to the highest bidder - it wasn't always so.

    Most Barnet council workers enjoyed working as part of a joined-up, accountable public service. Most Barnet residents have benefited from that. That's the model we should return to, not fragmentation and seeing public services/our taxes as a source of private revenue for the sufficiently enterprising.



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