Councillors have voted to bring five services run by Capita back under Barnet Council’s control following a heated row over the value of outsourcing.

Conservatives approved the latest round of insourcing during a full council meeting on January 25, but the Labour opposition slammed the contracts and called for more Capita-run services to be brought back in house.

Barnet Council handed over a raft of services to international business process outsourcing and professional services company Capita in 2013 in a bid to save money.

Since then, it has brought back four and switched the management of its pension scheme to the West Yorkshire Pension Fund.

The latest move, approved as part of a ten-year review of the Capita contracts, will see highways, recruitment, regeneration, procurement and regulatory services brought back under the town hall’s control.

Capita will retain control of six Barnet services: IT, customer services, revenues and benefits, land charges, building control, and planning and development control. Four more services will stay with Capita for one or two years pending a further review of the contracts.

Speaking during Tuesday’s meeting, council leader Dan Thomas claimed the deals with Capita were "considerably cheaper" than running the services in house and had saved the council £165 million during the last ten years.

He added: "Value for money will continue to be a factor when we decide the future of the services yet to be determined."

But Labour group leader Barry Rawlings warned the contracts lacked democratic oversight and scrutiny, and called for the council to insource more key services, such as planning and development.

Cllr Rawlings said: "These [services] should be accountable to local people via their elected representatives and not to remote pension funds and private investors. We have to live with the consequences of these decisions, whereas Capita shareholders don’t."

Tory councillor Peter Zinkin hit back, claiming the Conservatives "look forward to the future and work to get the best possible contract for service delivery". Labour, he claimed, "look backward" and are "mired in ideology and hatred of the private sector".

David Longstaff, the council’s deputy leader, said one of the primary concerns of residents was the level of council tax, and that the town hall had outsourced services to save money. Claiming the contracts had worked "extremely well", he added: "The residents don’t mind where the work gets done, so long as it gets done."

But Labour councillors continued to criticise the deals. Cllr Kathy Levine said she failed to understand why the "highly profitable area" of planning was not being brought back in house.

She added: "Where is the value for money? I can see what’s in it for Capita, but I can’t see what’s in it for Barnet residents."

Cllr Levine’s Labour colleague Arjun Mittra listed a range of failings with the deals, including the £2 million fraud against the council by former Capita contractor Trishul Shah.

He said: "The reality is that this Capita contract has brought nothing but shame, humiliation and scandal to Barnet."

At the end of the debate, Conservative councillors voted to insource the five services. Labour councillors and Liberal Democrat Jess Brayne voted against.