Tag Archives: Gary O’Hagan

Public Services and the Private Sector (Part 1)

Bin Men

There is a lot of debate right now in the UK about who should best be trusted to provide public services, should it be provided directly or should it be contracted out to the Private Sector.  The Private Sector are the people who win Government contracts with exaggerated promises and then squabble about providing the services that they have promised and keep making menacing threats for more money.

Just this month a major Private Sector company called Carillion who enjoyed a lot of public sector contracts went bust and left the country and the tax payer in the lurch.

I feel well qualified to speak out on this matter because for ten years between 1990 and 2000 I had the misfortune to be employed in a privatised service in waste management.

This is how it all began…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow Refuse Truck

Dennis Eagle Cory Environmental Gedling

I found myself unexpectedly in the employment of Cory Environmental because in the 1980s and 90s local authorities were obliged to market test their services through direct competition with the private sector.

I worked for a Council in Nottinghamshire and we lost our work through the tendering process.  This wasn’t because we were too expensive or couldn’t put a decent business case together but rather because the people running Cory Environmental didn’t have much of a clue and submitted an under priced bid that they couldn’t possibly hope to financially or operationally achieve but importantly for them was absolutely certain to win the contract.

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Cory Environmental, Blunders and Bodger

Bin Men Gedling Cory Environmental Team

“Margaret Thatcher wasn’t just callously indifferent to the suffering of those she made jobless or snubbed.  (She) set out to destroy entire industries in an appalling act of political and social vandalism…. When she marched into Number 10, it wasn’t bad – it was horrible, absolutely terrible.”                         Daily Mirror Editorial

I have never been especially politically aware so when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979 I was completely oblivious to the potential impact that the Tory policy of privatisation could have on me directly.  The first Conservative term of office came and went without any real upheaval but then after her second election victory in 1983 the pace of destruction of public sector services began to increase and eventually in 1989 I became a victim of the Thatcher axe and lost my job in local government as services were handed over to the private sector.

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