Waste services competition to maximise flexibility claim contested

The Environmental Services Association has said that councils should use outsourcing to deliver cost savings and drive innovation in service delivery for their residents.

With many councils moving away from competitive tender procedures for waste services, the ESA argues that this is detracting from the opportunity for authorities to use the market to find the best solutions to fit their local circumstances.

In launching a new campaign and Delivering best value through competition briefing, the association stressed that ‘the market is best placed to deliver value for money’.

However, responding to the campaign, the Association for Public Service Excellence warned that the outsourcing model has exposed ‘a number of flaws’ over a number of years and has expressed strong support for bringing waste services in-house.]

Mo Baines, head of communication and coordination at APSE, said: “Research by APSE has shown time and again that the primary reasons for insourcing a service is service efficiency, service quality and increased customer satisfaction. The disconnect between local elected councillors being able to take a proactive and interventionist role in making sure public services are responsive to local residents is not something that can be easily translated into outsourced service contracts.

“Ultimately, whilst service models are for local councils to decide insourcing and consideration of in-house models of delivery is certainly a worthwhile and an increasingly popular option.”