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Bring Road Repairs back 'in house'

August 4, 2018 5:41 PM

I have thought long and hard about the financial position Shropshire Council finds itself in - and is partly due to Government cuts but also because the Conservative administration since 2009 had no imagination and their policies were concentrated on council tax cuts and not on essential services. This was all about small government and nothing about providing desperately needed public services. What have we seen? Our adult Social Care in costing more and more - around £8 million a year, our roads are now very poor indeed, and there's another £5 million coming out of a poor budget this year and next, Children's Centres being closed, Libraries being closed or passed to communities to run, Leisure Centres losing funding and too much more to list.

We have out sourced so many of the services now that few are run in 'house'. Is this a good thing ? it can be but you have to question the Carillion model which we have used for our road maintenance. The Council appoints an overall company to run the work. They then employ many other companies to undertake the work. They might include, road resurfacing companies, traffic management companies, gulley clearers, pothole gangs, and often several companies doing each. So what is the problem? There are 2 main problems. It is difficult to establish a chain of command - someone who is accountable when things go wrong and then each company needs to make a profit….. they all have support services doing their accounts, paying wages, invoicing and they all have management. That all costs. There are many other examples and some are run better in the private sector.

Local Government were told that we would all be much more efficient if we shared all those things - it saves money but we cheerfully pay the private sector to do what we are told we must do more efficiently. Perhaps it is time to bring these services back in house, use the profit and the management saving to mend more potholes, create better quality roads and keep Children's centres open.

There is so little money left in the system now something radical must happen the make the best use of Tax payers money.

Heather .