Capita starts consultation to relocate council staff out of Barnet

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More than 140 council staff could be relocated outside the borough after Capita announced a reshuffle of its services.

Barnet Borough Council signed off its new support and customer service organisation (NSCSO) to the private firm in a contract worth £320million in August.

The contract forms part of the council’s controversial One Barnet scheme to outsource millions of pounds worth of services to the private sector.

Just two months after signing the deal, Capita has confirmed it has started a 90-day consultation period to move back-office services out of Barnet.

A total of 256 employees are involved in the consultation, although Capita has said it aims to retain around 107 of those in the borough.

A spokeswoman for the firm said: “The customer and support group partnership was set up to reduce costs and improve services to residents in Barnet.

“From the outset, we proposed moving some back-office services to sites outside the borough, investing in supporting technology and making processes more efficient.

“These changes will deliver value for money to the council and provide a better service to residents.

“No final decisions will be made on redundancies until the end of consultation period.”

Under the reshuffle people could be relocated to offices in Banstead, Blackburn, Belfast, Bromley, Carlisle, Coventry, Darlington, Sheffield, and Weybridge.

Barnet Alliance, a group of campaigners who have strongly opposed the One Barnet programme, have condemned the plans saying it will make "mass redundancies inevitable".

Barbara Jacobson, spokeswoman for the group, said: “What Capita describes as “driving towards Barnet plc and a successful London suburb” completely ignores the facts that the people losing their jobs are part of the community, that the community is not a public limited company, and that Barnet was a successful London suburb before the takeover.”

Comments (5)

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11:13am Thu 10 Oct 13

Friern Owl says...

140 staff forced to choose between exile and redundancy. And if they move hundreds of miles away, what is to happen to their spouses and children? Do their spouses give up their jobs here, to try and find a job up North - where there are even worse job shortage than in London? Or if the spouse needs to keep his/her job here in London, will they have to give up their family home here, to find two cheaper places to live?

And then what happens, after the Capita contracts end in 10 years, and these exiled people want to move back to their family and friends in London? How can they afford to move back from the North to buy a home here?

How cruel all this is. How appalling that the council refused to consult with its staff to try and find a better solution, before simply accepting the package that the Capita salesmen offered. The employees begged them to consult. And the council was legally obliged to consult, as the judge pointed out in the judicial review. But no.

Money before people. Money before morality. Money before compassion.
140 staff forced to choose between exile and redundancy. And if they move hundreds of miles away, what is to happen to their spouses and children? Do their spouses give up their jobs here, to try and find a job up North - where there are even worse job shortage than in London? Or if the spouse needs to keep his/her job here in London, will they have to give up their family home here, to find two cheaper places to live? And then what happens, after the Capita contracts end in 10 years, and these exiled people want to move back to their family and friends in London? How can they afford to move back from the North to buy a home here? How cruel all this is. How appalling that the council refused to consult with its staff to try and find a better solution, before simply accepting the package that the Capita salesmen offered. The employees begged them to consult. And the council was legally obliged to consult, as the judge pointed out in the judicial review. But no. Money before people. Money before morality. Money before compassion. Friern Owl
  • Score: 3

4:11pm Thu 10 Oct 13

nlygo says...

yes this is a shame, but all those who accept redundancy will get a redundancy package.

overall this scheme is helping Barnet Council Tax payers pay less. surely this is a good thing?
yes this is a shame, but all those who accept redundancy will get a redundancy package. overall this scheme is helping Barnet Council Tax payers pay less. surely this is a good thing? nlygo
  • Score: -4

9:44pm Thu 10 Oct 13

Mr unreasonable and always looking for fault says...

This happens all the time in the private sector. Get over it! (Oh, most of Barnet has!)
This happens all the time in the private sector. Get over it! (Oh, most of Barnet has!) Mr unreasonable and always looking for fault
  • Score: -4

12:50pm Tue 15 Oct 13

Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog says...

So, Mr 'Unreasonable'/Tory councillor, if this happens all the time in the private sector, then those lucky employees left to the mercies of Capita can also expect generous bonuses, and salary increases, in line with private sector staff, can they?

And NLYGO, the new redundancy rules voted through in the last couple of years by the same Tory councillors who voted through a great fat pay increase for themselves, whilst lecturing staff about austerity measures, means that staff will get very little money in any settlement, even if they have worked loyally for the council for many years. Most of these members of staff are low paid workers who have families to support, and will not benefit from the handsome pay-offs that senior officers in the council have had.
So, Mr 'Unreasonable'/Tory councillor, if this happens all the time in the private sector, then those lucky employees left to the mercies of Capita can also expect generous bonuses, and salary increases, in line with private sector staff, can they? And NLYGO, the new redundancy rules voted through in the last couple of years by the same Tory councillors who voted through a great fat pay increase for themselves, whilst lecturing staff about austerity measures, means that staff will get very little money in any settlement, even if they have worked loyally for the council for many years. Most of these members of staff are low paid workers who have families to support, and will not benefit from the handsome pay-offs that senior officers in the council have had. Mrs Angry, Broken Barnet blog
  • Score: 1

6:20pm Tue 15 Oct 13

AverageBarnetResident says...

'can also expect generous bonuses, and salary increases, in line with private sector staff, can they?'

It's unfair to try to make it sound like one 'sector' has it much better than the other. These are hard times and everyone is struggling. The employees of LBB are no different from the rest of us, public sector or otherwise.
I work in the private sector and many of my friends and colleagues have lost their jobs.
If you really think that the private sector is currently characterised by "generous bonuses, and salary increases" then you are deeply confused, my dear.
'can also expect generous bonuses, and salary increases, in line with private sector staff, can they?' It's unfair to try to make it sound like one 'sector' has it much better than the other. These are hard times and everyone is struggling. The employees of LBB are no different from the rest of us, public sector or otherwise. I work in the private sector and many of my friends and colleagues have lost their jobs. If you really think that the private sector is currently characterised by "generous bonuses, and salary increases" then you are deeply confused, my dear. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: 0

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