A report into Learning Disability Accommodation in Brighton and Hove has called into question the legality of a Council decision to privatise the service.
APSE (The Association for Public Service Excellence) was commissioned by the Brighton and Hove Branch of public sector trade union UNISON to provide an analysis of the decision and subsequent procurement process.
The report from APSE  raises significant concerns about the process which saw the Council fail to consult on a range of options for learning disability accommodation. APSE have stated that the process may have breached the Council’s statutory duty by failing to consult on keeping the services in-house.
The decision to privatise services, taken in April this year, was opposed by Green councillors who said the decision risked lives and could damage quality of life of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Greens are now urging the Council to call a halt to the privatisation process in order to give consideration to the APSE report and review all available options for provision of the service.
Green Councillor and Convenor of the Green Group, Phélim Mac Cafferty, said:
“In November, Greens put forward an amendment specifically requesting that the Council consult on the option of providing learning disability accommodation in-house in a more efficient way, yet this was voted down by Labour and Conservative councillors. We now see this decision called into question precisely because this option was not given proper consideration.
“We continue to have major concerns over the privatisation of these services, and the ongoing failures of recently privatised services in patient transport have only heightened our fears. Privatisation is putting the lives of our most vulnerable residents at risk and must be stopped”.
“Once again, the failure of the Labour Council to properly consult on a range of options has undermined a service redesign process. Time and again, we see Labour asking leading consultation questions and shutting down debate, so it can claim its policies have public support. We know this is simply not the case.
 APSE report: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/unisonsoutheast/pages/199/attachments/original/1473858431/APSE_Report_LDAS.pdf?1473858431#mce_temp_url#