It’s up to councils to decide how they run their services

By Michael Burton | 30 July 2019
  • Michael Burton

Anyone with memories that stretch back to a time when mobile phones were the size of bricks will be familiar with the long and often tortuous history of in-house versus privatised council services.

In pre-Thatcher years, in-house direct labour organisations (DLOs) controlled council services, often inefficiently. The Thatcher Government swung provision the other way, with compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) that forced in-house teams to compete with privatised operators, primarily on price.

Wages were cut and, in the case of refuse and cleansing contracts, European companies soon dominated the market. CCT created an unhealthy ‘us and them’ mentality that took decades to disappear, if at all

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