Public Service Users’ Bill

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CAROLINE Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, has launched a new bill as part of a campaign to give people more control over public services. This is an excellent initiative, and I fully support it.

Her Private Member’s Bill is based on work by We Own It, which campaigns to shift the debate on public ownership, and to show that public services are better in public hands.

The Bill would make public ownership the default option before privatisation takes place, and ensure private companies running services are more accountable and transparent. It would cover a range of services, including the NHS, public transport, and local services such as schools and libraries.

It would:

  • Make public ownership the default option before any services, national or local, are contracted out to the private sector
  • Require there to be a realistic and thorough in-house bid whenever a service is put out to tender
  • Ensure there is full consideration of public opinion before any service is privatised or outsourced
  • Give the public a right to recall private companies running public services poorly
  • Require private companies running public services to be transparent about their performance and financial data (as in the public sector)
  • Make private companies running public services subject to Freedom of Information requests (as in the public sector)
  • Give social enterprises and mutuals, as well as public sector organisations, priority in tendering processes.

See more at Green Party News.

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