Tuesday, 20 August 2013

We are at the start of an adventure: Capitaville plc issues its first directive to the workforce ...

Yes: they've arrived - the occupying army of Capitaville has picked up the keys to North London Business Park, and is in the building, trying out all the chairs, and running up and down the corridors, like excited children. 

Ah, but: et in Capita ego: the eyes and ears of Mrs Angry are everywhere, even now, in the dawn of this new age, and she has received a copy of the first proclamation to the bonded slaves passed into their ownership, the DRS Joint Venture, by our supine Tory councillors.

Mrs Angry's twisted commentary in red.

DRS Staff Bulletin - Issue one
All systems Go!
Capita and Barnet Council signed the DRS contract on 5 August. Since then it’s been all systems go to ensure that we are ready for the transfer of services. On 1 October, your employment will transfer to the new Joint Venture Company.

Joint Venture Company: yes, just think: this time last year, Tory leader Richard Cornelius still had no idea that his senior officers had cooked up the Joint Venture scheme and announced the change of business model, behind his back, while he was at his holiday home in France. 

How time flies.

You will still have strong links to Barnet Council and you will be part of Capita plc, the UK’s leading outsourcing and professional services company.

Strong links. 

When we say you, we mean those of you who will not be out on your arses before the ink is dry on the contract. 
Over the coming weeks, you’ll hear a lot about our plans for the services; but the Joint Venture Company is as much yours as it is ours,  

As much yours as it is ours ... ? Is it really? 

Are we getting the same amount of profit from it as you? No. 

Are we exposed to higher risk than you? Yes. 

Did you set up this Joint Venture between you, a handful of private consultants and the Corporate Directors Group, behind the backs of the elected members of this council, and in total ignorance of the Leader? Yes. 

Were the residents, taxpayers and voters of this borough consulted about this mass privatisation of everything from planning, to highways, and to the cemetery where our family members are buried? No. 

Did the staff have any chance of stopping this wholescale handover to you? No. 

On balance, then: the balance is weighed heavily in your favour, is it not?
so over the weeks we’ll also be asking you to share your ideas on the services too. 
We are at the start of an adventure ...

(An awfully big Joint Venture: see

and we look forward to working with you closer together in the future.

The feeling, we suspect, is not mutual.
More cheery greetings:
Ian Tomkinson
Partnership Director
Alun Parfitt
Operations Director
Capita Symonds is delighted to have been selected as Barnet Council’s Partner for the delivery of a range of Development and Regulatory Services.
As Partnership Director, I will be responsible for the overall running of the Partnership and I very much look forward to working with you all. Should you have any queries or concerns, please feel free to come and have a chat with me about them.”

Aww. Knock first, then bow your head, as you approach the desk.
“Hello everyone
As the Operations Director for this Partnership, I will be responsible for the day to day running of both the core services and the proposed growth agenda that we want to deliver. Having being TUPE’d out of Local Authority myself, I am keen to ensure staff are kept informed as to what is happening and this will be the first of our regular updates that you will be receiving before the partnership goes live on the 1 October. With the contract signed, we are now heavily involved in the mobilisation phase as all parties prepare for the start of what is a groundbreaking agreement.
When the partnership starts, it’s absolutely vital that we continue to deliver the high standard of core partnership services that are so important to the Barnet community. Please ensure you highlight any issues preventing good service delivery to myself, Gary Massey or Mike Hainge as soon you can.“
Then run like f*ck to the nearest job centre ...

DRS Staff Bulletin - Issue one
Service Snapshot:
Bill Murphy
Interim DRS Director
Disappointingly, this is not a snapshot of Bill Murphy, the man who was Robert Rams' library enforcer, and left after the occupation, only to bounce straight back, in a happy coincidence, right into this crucial post.
Hang on, here is a snapshot of Bill Murphy, in case you see him running along the corridor, and want to ask him anything, such as how much he earns, and how long an interim Director post lasts (ok, that's what Mrs Angry would ask, but then she is very impertinent).

“I’d like to firstly offer a huge welcome to the Capita team. 
There is of course much to do in preparation for the scheduled ‘go live’ date of 1 October but Capita are working hard with Council colleagues behind the scenes to ensure the ‘business as usual’ approach at the formal commencement of the Partnership.
All this talk of Partnership: it's like being invaded by John Lewis, isn't it, without the never knowingly undersold bit? And yet, look around you: we are in Poundland, now ...
There is no doubt that, as we head to the point of transition it is an exciting but equally anxious time for all of us involved so it is crucial that you continue to raise queries you have with either your line manager or Capita. “
Here’s a snapshot of the DRS contract:

Ok - well: this really is a Capita contract ... as unread by your Tory councillors

So, the contract, says Bill Murphy ...
> It’s a 10 year contract with Barnet Council, with a 5 year extension.
15 years of bondage, with plenty of punishment and restraint, but no safe word  for escape ...
> It saves the council £39 million over the term.

Erm ... how much? This is one of those grandiose figures that One Barnet spin artists pluck out of nowhere, shapeshifting statistics with no constant form. 

We were promised DRS would save £20 million, but once Capita's bid was accepted, we learnt we will get only around £5 million, because we were told "The bidder has identified a more modest saving" ... 

Put that against the £7 million of our taxes already spent on our implementation partner consultants' fees and you will see the arrant absurdity of this reckless scheme.
> We’re creating a joint venture company with it’s own identity.

IT'S NOT IT'S, IT'S ITS, Mr Murphy, but letting that pass, I think you'll find we are the victims of identity theft, and the JV will be entirely the creature Capita want it to be.
> Some of you will be employed by the joint venture; some will have joint employment with the council.

Some of you will be invited to fuck off out of it, and get down to the job centre, but hopefully not me.
> Six directors head up the joint venture, four from Capita, and two from the council.

More top salary jobs subsidised by the tax payers of Barnet, and note that in the interests of maintaining a junior position for Barnet, their representation is minimal.
> Capita has day to day operational responsibility of the joint venture.

We are all doomed, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Services in Scope:The services we will provide include:
> Planning and Development Management
> Building Control
> Land Charges
> Environmental Health
> Trading Standards and Licensing
> Cemetery and Crematorium
> Highways: 
> Strategy 
> Network Management 
> Traffic and Development 
> Transport and Regeneration
> Regeneration
> Strategic Planning

Capita will be extracting profit for their shareholders from the residents of Barnet, in every way you can think: in life, and in death, and in the world to come, from the air you breathe, to the food you eat, the house you live in, the roads you drive on, and even your final resting place. Rest in peace, if you can - and yes, they are developing the cemetery to provide onsite catering in order to enhance your loved ones' bereavement experience. (Mrs Angry wishes this last bit was biting satire, and inappropriately dark humour, but it is true).
More bilge, then:
DRS Staff Bulletin - Issue one
I’ve noticed you around...

I say: a Capita chat up line: watch out, ladies (and gents) ...
You may have noticed a few new faces around the building lately; to help you put a name to the face lets introduce you to...

Ian Tomkinson
Partnership Director
Graham Cowley
Chief Operating Officer
Got a Question?
Gary Massey
Service Director Highways
Alun Parfitt
Operations Director

Hey, guys ... I've noticed you around too ... sitting at the back of council meetings, as if you own the place ... oh hang on, you do!

You can submit questions to us on the extranet, and if you have any questions, comments or concerns, you can email us at 

barnetcomms@capita - does this ... does this mean our in-house spin doctor, the Tooting Twister, has been Tuped over to Capita?

Oh please, please let it be so.

I'll drop him a line, to wish him well. That'll cheer him up.

A message for the staff at Barnet Council: chin up - the Barnet blogosphere is still happily insourced and still following an ethos of public service.

A message for Capita: 

We are, indeed, at the start of an adventure.

And we are watching you, every step of the way.


Mr Mustard said...

a typo slipped in by capita there surely mrs A?

Isn't it "All staff go" not "All systems go"

Mrs Angry said...

I fear that it would be tactless of me to rephrase the term, Mr Mustard, and who am I to rewrite the word of Crapita? That is the solemn duty of barnetcomms@crapita, and not the task of the Barnet blogger.