A call to publish the detailed costs and savings of services being brought back from Capita to Barnet Council "immediately" has been rejected by Conservative councillors.

The Barnet Labour group called for the information to be made public, claiming residents have a right to know ahead of the local elections in May if the contracts with the outsourcing firm have saved money.

The Conservatives say they rejected the call to avoid damaging the council’s negotiations with Capita, and the information will be made public as soon as possible.

The council handed over control of a range of its services to Capita in 2013 in a bid to save money, but several have been returned to the town hall in recent years. In January, the council agreed to bring five more services back in-house by 2023.

During a meeting of the council’s finance committee on February 1, Labour councillor Arjun Mittra tabled a call for the immediate publication of the detailed costs and savings relating to the incoming services, but it was voted down by Conservative members.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mittra said: "The public have a right to know whether the Conservatives’ claim that the Capita contracts have saved money overall is true or not, before they cast their votes in the local elections in May.

"The Conservatives have made this claim for years, but it has never been proven and has never been demonstrated. Barnet has a lackadaisical attitude and record on transparency with these secretive contracts. It is time the public were allowed to see the truth."

The latest clash comes amid an ongoing row over the value of the council’s contracts with the outsourcing firm.

The town hall’s own figures show the council has paid Capita £217 million more than the original value of its contracts with the firm. But the Tories have denied this is an overpayment, claiming the money was for “extra work commissioned by the council” and “entitlements [Capita] receive under the contracts”.

During January’s full council meeting, council leader Dan Thomas claimed the contracts had in fact saved the council £165m during the last ten years.

Cllr Peter Zinkin, chairman of the financial performance and contracts committee, denied the Conservatives had refused outright to publish the costs and savings information.

He added: "What we did was protect the council and agree to publish everything as soon as we could, so that we did not damage our negotiations with Capita.

"The Conservatives are running a responsible administration that protects the council and is always seeking the best value for money for our residents. That’s why we’re able to deliver better services than our neighbouring Labour boroughs, while charging our residents less in council tax.

"Labour, meanwhile, are irresponsible. They are only interested in press releases and headlines, with no understanding of how to ensure Barnet residents get the best value services."