Reader Letter: Council should admit they got it wrong with outsourcing decision

Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich City Hall. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

One reader thinks Norwich City Council has got it wrong when it comes to outsourcing. What do you think?

Norwich City Council never ceases to amaze me. The decision to bring back in house the services that Norse currently provide, is beyond belief but not surprising given the botched outsourcing and handling of previous large scale contracts by the city council.

I was employed as payroll/HR manager during the time that the City Works Department was 'outsourced' to Morrison Service Team (Citycare) and at the time of the transfer fiasco to the doomed Connaught.

I saw at first hand the issues of TUPE transfers and the stress it caused to the 'normal working person' employed on those contracts.

Some of these workers have now endured at least five TUPE transfers in the past 18 years and would it be fair and proper to subject them to another.

Why are Norwich City Council bringing it back in-house? The same reason of 'financial control' is being used to reverse the original decision made in April 2000.

In addition to the early termination costs payable to Norse, how much more of the taxpayers' money will be needed to carry out this mammoth process in terms of TUPE, pensions, redundancies, IT systems, building premises, vehicles, plant equipment and set up costs. The mind boggles at such sums.

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Labour councillor Alan Waters was a leading figure in the decision to outsource in the first instance in 2000. Has he had a sudden change of heart?

Norwich City Council was repeatedly warned by Citycare and the trade unions that the Connaught bid was not financially viable but they chose to ignore this. Surprise, surprise that Connaught went bust less than six months into the contract.

So, what are the real reasons behind this latest proposal? Is it really necessary to put hundreds of families through the TUPE process again because of a political whim or why don't the city council just admit they got the original decision to outsource in April 2000 completely wrong.

Do you agree with our reader? Let us know in the comments below or write to us at