Insourcing not outsourcing – contracts and hundreds of staff to move from private sector to Council

Council services worth nearly £12million every year will be reclaimed from private companies as part of a new strategy to deliver better, more reliable public services in-house rather than outsourcing them.

More than 360 cleaning, maintenance and parking enforcement staff will be transferred to Council employment by March next year, under a plan to bring in services from for-profit companies approved by the Council’s Cabinet last night. 

The model sets out the process by which all outsourced contracts will be reviewed according to quality, performance, value for money, and staff terms and conditions to explore whether they can be insourced.

The move is part of the Council’s work to rebuild a fairer local economy after the pandemic, using its land, assets and services for public good, creating quality and fair employment opportunities for the borough’s residents. 

Deputy Mayor Cllr Rebecca Rennison, Cabinet Member for Finance, Housing Needs and Supply
The whole country has seen over the last year what can happen when contracts are outsourced to the private sector by default – without the right checks and balances to ensure taxpayers are getting a high-quality and cost-effective service they can rely on.

Residents want to see their Council services run by local, committed public servants that understand their community and can respond quickly in a crisis – not unaccountable private companies. 

That’s always been our policy, but, delivering on our 2018 manifesto commitment, we now want to turbocharge insourcing as we rebuild a fairer local economy and recover from coronavirus, spending our money in the borough wherever possible and employing more local people.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Rebecca Rennison, Cabinet Member for Finance, Housing Needs and Supply

Between January 2020 and March 2022, five services worth £11.6m will have been insourced under the policy, including: 

  • Schools caretaking and cleaning services, worth £2.5m, with 116 staff brought back in-house to the Council and schools in January 2020
  • Gully and winter cleansing service, worth £300,000, brought back in-house in September 2020
  • Office cleaning service, worth £1.8m, with 110 staff brought back in-house in January 2021
  • Fleet maintenance service, worth £1.4m, with 10 staff due to be brought back in-house in April 2021
  • Parking enforcement, worth £5.6m, with 132 staff due to be brought back in-house in March 2022

These decisions build on the Council’s record of insourcing other services over more than a decade, including its benefits, recruitment, waste collection, IT and jobs teams.

Insourcing and sustainable procurement is just one way the Council is rebuilding a fairer local economy as the borough plans its recovery from coronavirus, with extra employment support for young people and those who have lost work, working with businesses to pay the London Living Wage and building new genuinely affordable workspace for local businesses.