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'NO QUICK FIX' TO SCOTTISH DLO PROBLEMS, WARNS UNISON

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Unison has warned the government against thinking there are any quick fixes to the problems such as those faced by ...
Unison has warned the government against thinking there are any quick fixes to the problems such as those faced by North Lanarkshire Council, reported The Scotsman (5 June, p10).

The union's spokesman, Mark Irvine, said the council had run into problems because its direct labour organisation's tenders had been up to 50% below bids by private companies. If a private contract had been accepted, it would have resulted in higher costs for the local taxpayers.

Mr Irvine said: 'It is the politics of the madhouse to suggest that the problem could be resolved by shutting down the DLO and giving the work to an outside company.'

And speaking at the conference of the Association of Direct Labour Organisations, Maggie Bodell-Stagg, the chairman of the commercial services committee in Leicester City Council disagreed with the assertion of Scottish local government minister Calum Macdonald that it did not matter whether services were delivered by the public or private sector as long as these were of high quality.

'I think it does,' she said. 'My message to the government is that local authorities are your power base. If you get rid of us you get rid of yourselves.'
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