Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Friday, 31 August 2012

Andrew Dismore on LFEPA

Barnet and Camden Assembly Member Andrew Dismore is concerned about the takeover of AssetCo, who are the private company responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of London's fire engines.

Andrew, who is the Labour lead on the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, wrote a letter to the Boris Johnson appointed chair, James Cleverley AM (Bexley and Bromley, Con) of the LFEPA. This is Mr. Cleverley's response, which Andrew says is "Unacceptable".

Andrew released a press statement, putting expressing his views.

This shows the kind of problems you can have with private sector involvement in public services. Even if £275 million of the £1 billion One Barnet gamble is through a joint venture, similar risks will apply. I am concerned that if Capita or BT, who are the bidders for the One Barnet contract have similar issues we may be left with problems too.

As I have said before, I am not against private sector involvement in public services, but I do think there are risks, and it needs to be domonstrated that they can offer both a better quality service and cheaper. One Barnet is a reckless gamble because it guarantees neither. The "competetive" process ruled out any in house bid, which indicates that this contract is an ideological test. Barnet residents should not be used as canaries.