Wednesday 27 June 2018

Barnet Residents protest at CAPITA AGM about the failing One Barnet Outsourcing project

Barnet Eye TV visited the Capita PLC AGM yesterday to speak to Barnet Residents, many of whom were associated with the Barnet Alliance for Public Services, who were protesting at the Capita Annual General Meeting. Residents gathered outside to hand out leaflets and speak to shareholders. Several Barnet residents, who are also shareholders, took the opportunity to address the Board. Watch what happened here.

One small Capita Shareholder claimed they'd lost £40,000 on their investment. Another told protesters that "council tax is going up to pay for this" (this is audible in the film). Capita bosses blamed Barnet for not managing the contract.

Back in 2012, former Councillor Hugh Rayner called out how Capita would make money. This was caught for posterity by the late, lamented Barnet Bugle. The answer is quite instructive.

Capita told shareholders that Barnet Council were not managing the contract properly and that it was not "mutually beneficial". They also stated that they would be meeting with the CEO of Barnet to discuss ways that this could be resolved. This means one of two things. More money for Capita or an exit on some of the contracts. We have submitted a further two questions to the Contracts monitoring committee next Monday night.

Q1. At the Capita AGM, the management of Capita informed shareholders that they would be meeting to discuss "problem contracts" with the CEO of Barnet. What are these contracts and what are the problems.

Q2. When Capita senior management meet with the Barnet CEO are the discussions to be about exiting problem contracts or raising charges to Barnet Council (and by implication tax payers)?

It is worth noting that Capita's PR company are keen to open a dialog with protestors to try and improve the image of Capita. We are more than happy to make some suggestions.

As it now appears that One Barnet is not working for Capita, Barnet Council or Residents, surely the time has come to draw a line under the project and start exploring an in house solution for everything that is not delivering value for money for residents. Barnet Council sold the scheme as good for residents, good for the Council and good for Capita. As none of this has been born out by events, now is the time, as the elections are done, for the council to put its hands up and admit what the board of Capita was saying yesterday. That was that Barnet Council does not have the expertise to manage such contracts.

Yesterday the Official #KickOutCapita campaign was launched. We produced this short video to illustrate what the effects on outsourcing are on the people involved. Please check this out

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