Dromey’s legacy in council history

By Michael Burton | 18 January 2022
  • Michael Burton

Media coverage of the recent untimely death of former union leader and Labour Shadow minister Jack Dromey made little reference to his huge role in local government history by helping to abolish the compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) of council services and creating ‘Best Value’.

CCT had been introduced by the Conservative government in 1980 as the solution to what it saw as inefficient, over-manned council services dominated by town hall unions, many of which in turn also controlled their local Labour parties, creating a conflict of interest when the councils were Labour-run. Putting services out to contract and forcing in-house workforces in direct labour organisations to face private sector competition would, went the Government’s argument, bring efficiencies and ensure value for money. Initially applied to blue-collar services but CCT was later extended to certain white-collar services.

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