Richard Grice (on a secondment from a quango - IDeA)
Max Wide (on secondment from BT)
Clive Medlam, Director of Resources (The man responsible for losing £27.4 Million in Iceland)
Jeff Lustig, Director of Corporate Governance ( The man responsible for overseeing the sale of Underhill which resulted in enquiries costing £1 Million)
Does this team fill you with confidence?
The report suggests that the Council outsource everything they possibly can (apart from their own jobs rather surprisingly).
One key phrase of the report says :-
Development of proposals with potential private, public and voluntary sector partners for the re-configuration of services in the borough, including a detailed assessment of costs and potential savings, and when they would accrue
Now maybe I've misread this, but the way it seems they want the model to work is that the Public sector (e The council) provides the cash, the Private sector makes a handsome profit and the voluntary sector plugs the gaps. Now from a beancounting perspective, this is a great plan. Sack qualified council staff and get people to do the work for free (the voluntary sector).
Lets take the example of Mrs Beans aged 85(not a real person), who lives in Outsourcing Avenue. She was fit and sprightly for her age but was run over by a car hurtling down Partingdale Lane whilst walking her dog. She is now totally reliant on council services as she is severely disabled. Now at the moment Barnet council employ a care team to look after her. She's used to all of the people who she has to deal with and is happy and secure in her Council provided flat. Mr Beans is a relatively fit 87 year old who can make her a cup of tea and open the door for the care team.
Now a bloke from a quango and a bloke from BT have sat in a council office on a fat salary and decided that Mrs Beans needs a "different outcome". They've decided that what Mrs Beans really needs is a "transformed experience". Instead of the regular Council care team, they'll get carers from "Carers-R-us.com". They'll give Mr Beans the number of a nice call centre in Bangalore to ring if anything goes wrong - You know "Select option 1 for a heart attack, Option 2 for a stroke and Option 3 for a broken hip)". Nor "carers-r-us.com" are a lean mean organisation. They have a fine team of very badly paid carers, who do there best, but are constantly leaving, not turning up. The Beans family suddenly find that they haven't a clue who is supposed to be coming. All of the staff who knew Mrs Beans and understood her situation have left. Now because the situation is getting too much for poor old Mr Beans, nice Mrs Counter down the road, has started popping in. When it all goes wrong she steps in, hangs on the phone to Bangalore, tells the constantly changing new carers what they should be doing and what they should know. She doesn't get paid (voluntary sector), she's put upon, but she knows without her the Beans family would not be able to cope.
There are plenty of other Mrs Beans and Mrs Counter's all over Barnet. Because of their transformed experience what happens (in our mythical ideal world) :-
Richard Grice goes back to his quango and gets a nice fat bonus
Max Wide goes back to BT (maybe to manage the Barnet Call centre Contract in Bangalore getting a fat bonus)
Clive Medlam, has saved a pot of resources so he gets a fat bonus
Jeff Lustig, has negotiated a fine contract with BT and Carers-R-us.com, so he gets a juicy fat bonus as well.
As for Mrs Beans and Mrs Counter - well who really gives a stuff about them. If the stress kills Mrs Beans, that is yet another saving to be added to the pot ! Another value for money outcome. Does council Leader Mike Freer and councillor Lynne Hillan know or care about the vulnerable in Barnet? I suspect they have other priorities - Freer is hoping he'll be off to Westminster by the time it all goes pear shaped.
At least Mrs Counter can sleep peacefully at night knowing her efforts have helped all of the above get a big bonus. Now I believe in goodwill, helping your neighbour out and being a good citizen, but in the Brave New world of care in Barnet I think that these values may well be the very first casualties as people realise they are being taken advantage of.
I guess that they'll have to change the line from the theme tune to the well loved soap.
Neighbours, every body NEEDS good neighbours,
Thats when good neighbours become good unpaid dogsbodies filling the gaps in care provision left by the outsourcing of care services in Barnet".