'Biggest council shake-up since 1980s to dovetail with renationalisation of railways, Royal Mail and utilities'
'Councils will be expected to take rubbish collection, cleaning and school dinner provision back in-house under plans to reverse four decades of outsourcing to be announced by the Labour party today .
In the biggest shake-up of local government since the Margaret Thatcher-inspired reforms of the 1980s, a future Jeremy Corbyn-led government would legislate to ensure that the default option was for the public sector to deliver its own services.
Councils spend £80bn on outsourced contracts but Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, will say it is time to end the “scandal” of the taxpayer being “ripped off” by private companies.
The party says it would support councils by providing them with a model contract to save time and resources, access to the government’s legal department to help with contract management, and greater support for collaboration among councillors.
The drive to outsource the delivery of local services began in 1980, and the list of services expanded over the next decade to include construction and maintenance, refuse collections, cleaning, school and welfare catering, ground maintenance, and the provision of sports and leisure services.
Labour has accepted it would not be possible to eliminate all outsourcing but companies bidding to deliver public services would have to prove they pay fair wages, recognise trade unions and support local labour and supply chains.
Details of the scheme will be announced at an event in London by McDonnell and the shadow communities and local government secretary, Andrew Gwynne. The planned reforms are intended to dovetail with Labour’s plans to renationalise the railways, the Royal Mail and the public utilities.'
Read more: Labour pledges to push councils into taking back local services