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24 July 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Councils trying to save more than 25 per cent, and those with budgets of more than £100 million, plan to outsource up to 60 per cent of their services by 2015.
Research by support services firm Interserve also found on average local authorities aim to outsource 32 per cent of services by 2015.
The analysis, Local services in need of transformational change that polled 100 councils, attributed the trend to councils seeking to increase efficiencies. Currently around 26 per cent of services are outsourced. Some 31 per cent of authorities plan to outsource just a fifth of services by 2015.
A total of 82 per cent thought outsourcing had a role to play in achieving savings targets. But there was scepticism, with 70 per cent of respondents of the belief that outsourcing reduced control and increased risk. And 38 per cent said all services, including public protection and children’s services, could be outsourced.
"Forward thinking councils are aware that they need a transformational change given the severe pressure on budgets for the foreseeable future,” said Adrian Ringrose, chief executive at Interserve. “In our experience, if the delivery model is focused around results and not processes, the private sector can support councils in their focus on delivering improved front line services.”