Suffolk sourcing strategy suffers serious setback

Suffolk County Council - do you remember the exciting "outsource everything" idea they had, which we wrote about here? Here's the summary, plus our final comment:

Suffolk County Council announced last week that they were looking to (potentially) outsource all the services the council provides.  How will they do this?...So I hope Suffolk are ready for some serious national scrutiny.

Well, there's been that scrutiny we predicted; followed by huge fuss about the salary and style of the Chief Executive, and around some of the proposed changes. The political Leader of the Council has now resigned, several senior execs have gone and there's been a tragic suicide of another, the strategy appears to be in tatters, and there's a Council meeting this week to discuss the way forward.

As well as the Guardian link above, it's worth reading this blog from a Suffolk Liberal councillor if you're interested; well-written as well as informative.

It's not easy, is it, this radical outsourcing business, turning the public sector from the provider to the commissioner of services? To be fair, the trigger for the resistance in Suffolk seems to be issues more connected with the 'Big Society' than outsourcing per se - for instance,  stopping council provided schools crossing services (lollipop ladies) in the hope that volunteers and local bodies would take over.

Anyway, we'll follow developments here with interest; they have a resonance and national importance, we suspect, that spreads well beyond Ipswich or Southwold.

First Voice

  1. Christine Morton:

    And this just in:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-13297253

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