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School of Business and Management

War of words erupts over best route for councils to procure waste services at Remunicipalisation Conference

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Colin Haslam, Professor of Accounting/Finance at the School of Business and Management, discussed the risks associated with outsourcing public services at the Remunicipalisation Conference held at the QEII conference centre in London on the 28th January 2016. 

As some local authorities are now bringing back waste management services in-house, the discussion on whether to out-source or bring back in-house public services generated some heated arguments.

Professor Haslam observed that, “Firms have a considerable amount of control on services we depend on as householders...this power is fragile as they themselves are prone to financial instability and collapse.” 

These arguments were backed up by the experience of some councils.  Steve Munby, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods in Liverpool stated, “There are many councils for whom the idea of being locked into a contract is a nightmare. A lot of big private sector companies have huge problems – I am waiting for the first big one to fail and it’s not far away.”