UNISON Brighton and Hove branch have voiced their serious concern around the latest proposals to cut the number of beds within Hostel services by 20 and outsource the Homelessness/Hostels services. A recent report commissioned by UNISON with regard to the tendering process used by Brighton and Hove City Council raised a number of questions which have, so far gone unanswered by the Council. The Association of Public Service Excellence report evidenced a complete lack of transparency in the processes used when Learning Disability Accommodation Services were tendered for outsourcing and the union is now extremely concerned that the Council has failed to learn any lessons.
Branch Secretary, Sue Beatty said “Since providing both the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive with a copy of the report we commissioned, we have been met by a wall of silence. It is extremely clear to us that the report highlights some quite severe failings on the part of the Council with regard to the outsourcing processes used and we are concerned that the same errors and mistakes are going to occur again with the tendering of the Homelessness/Hostels Service. These services are vital for the most vulnerable of our citizens living on the streets and in vulnerable accommodation and we want to ensure that any future services are provided under the right framework and by the right organisation! We can only assume that the deafening silence we have received from the Leader and Chief Executive is explained by their realisation of how wrong they got it last time and their hope that we will go away. We will not be going anywhere until this situation is discussed openly to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated”