I am very pleased that finally, the Council administration’s proposed tendering of Care and Support Services has been put on hold. It will be reviewed independently (although we’re not sure what this means yet!) over the next few weeks, and discussed again at the next Finance and Resources Committee on 21st January 2010.
In many ways, I hope the independent review concludes that the whole process was untenable: tendering of the services used by some of the most vulnerable in the city will always be problematic. The consequences on the services users were clearly not thought through properly, never mind the effects on the third sector as a whole in Edinburgh, or their employees. The Council’s attitude over the last few months about this and other contracting processes has been shocking – I do not see how we cannot take some responsibility for ensuring that our actions do not negatively impact upon workers, small organisations, communities and individuals. There is much still to be done to ensure that care provision is as efficient as possible, but never at the expense of quality or of the long-term sustainability of our communities.
The Evening News coverage about this story highlights just some of the issues … I’m sure we’ll all be keeping a close eye on this over the next few weeks. Please do get in touch (maggie.chapman (at) edinburgh.gov.uk) if you have any questions about this.