The Labour Group of Councillors on Portsmouth City Council have reiterated their call for an end to the privatisation of council services by asking the Lib Dem Cabinet running the council to bring the £31.5m waste collection contract in-house, to be provided directly by the local authority, when the current outsourced arrangement ends next year.
Portsmouth Labour has been working with local trade unions and campaign groups to lobby the council to adopt an “in-sourcing first” approach to providing services. This would see in-house provision by the council as the default option with outsourcing only considered where there are compelling reasons to do so.
There is a growing consensus against outsourcing and privatisation in public services due to the increased flexibility, cost efficiency and employment standards associated with direct local authority provision.
At the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 21st June 2022, recently elected Labour Councillor for Cosham, AsgharShah, attended to put the case forward for why the privatisation of the waste collection service should be ended at the conclusion of the current contract.
Speaking at the meeting Councillor Shah said:
“We are calling for this service to be brought back in-house when the current contract comes up for review in 2023 and are pleased to see that our campaign has pushed the Lib Dem Cabinet to bring forward the report today looking at the possibility of doing just that.
“Well run local waste and recycling services are going to be crucial to our city meeting our commitments to drastically reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate crisis. Where the council directly runs services it retains maximum flexibility to shape delivery to meet the needs of local people and the planet.
“We also know that workers in public services run directly by the council enjoy much better pay, terms and conditions than those working in services outsourced to private companies or the voluntary sector. Now more than ever it is crucial we do more to ensure people receive fair rates of pay, decent pensions and proper sick pay – bringing services in-house is a key way of making that happen.”