Labour Beating Up On Serco and Virgin Care?

And about time too! Labour have announced an insourcing revolution to reverse the trend of public services in West Lancashire being outsourced to private providers and instead bring these services back ‘in house’, to be delivered by the public sector.

Democratising Local Public Services: A Plan for Twenty-First Century Insourcing

Labour’s blueprint for a radical overhaul of local government was announced at an event in London held by Labour’s Community Wealth Building Unit, a network of councillors and experts working together to rebuild local economies, renew faith in local services and deliver a renaissance of local government in communities across Britain in the face of austerity.

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper

said “Delivering good services for people should be the focus of our public services not profit, as our public services belong to the people.

“It’s time to end the outsourcing scandal which has seen private companies rip off the taxpayer, degrade our public services in West Lancashire and put people at risk whilst remaining wholly unaccountable to the people who rely on and ultimately fund these services.

“Nationally and locally, we’ve seen the mess caused by private providers like Serco and Virgin Care who seek to make profits from these contracts”.

Labour’s view is that “After year upon year of failures the public has rightly lost confidence in the privatisation of our public services and the carve up of the public realm for private profit.

“The government’s ideological pursuit of privatisation and outsourcing has seen the public pay the price as fat cat bosses count their profits. Labour will end this racket and ensure that our vital public services are delivered in the interests of the people our local authorities are here to serve, not in the interest of outsourcing firms’ profit margins and wealthy shareholders”.

In West Lancashire, Serco Leisure Operating Ltd, together with its partners Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd have certainly carved up the “public realm” ie Beacon Park Golf Course with its gross, now known to having broken planning conditions, landfill royalty ripoff. 

Only recently has the Chief Executive of Serco Group plc, Rupert Soames OBE, written an utterly puerile suggestion to Rosie Cooper MP that my concerns about the Serco receipt of royalty payments was focused on the possibility that the council (WLBC) received royalties from Oakland Golf and Leisure Limited. We know WLBC was never a royalty sharing partner despite our, the public, ownership of Beacon Park Golf Course. But Serco had its grubby hands in the royalty pot and received £183,864 while Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd hid its huge share among linked service companies. And never once was there any proof that VAT was paid on the thousands of landfill deliveries.  

If Labour DOES intend to ensure the public services ARE delivered in the interests of the public then the best place for investigation of the Beacon Park Golf Course is by reference to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee!

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