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G4S TAKES OVER SALFORD TROUBLED FAMILIES
 

Star date: 17th July 2012

WHILE MESSING UP OLYMPIC SECURITY G4S IS `LOOKING AFTER' SALFORD'S TROUBLED FAMILIES

G4S, the company currently screwing up Olympics security, is looking after Salford's troubled families in another worrying aspect of the privatisation of public services.

G4S calls itself "the largest new entrant into the welfare to work market" and has been given a three year contract worth £16million by the Government to work across the North West, including Salford.

Council employees, already doing this work, aren't happy; while G4S, after six months, admitted hitting only 15% of its `target' …

Full story here…


G4S, the company which has messed up Olympic security, as well as many other public contracts in the past, currently has a three year contract worth £16million to work with some of the North West's most vulnerable people, including Salford's most troubled families.

The contract was handed to G4S by the ConDem Government, via the European Social Fund, to support families with multiple problems across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington.

The support for these families includes help with skills, employment, parenting and other things, and G4S has taken a fat slice of the money, then subcontracted companies, including Work Solutions in Manchester (an offshoot of the Chamber of Commerce) to actually carry out the work. Meanwhile, local councils are expected to refer families for them to `help'. The problems are numerous but in Salford, Council employees are already working with these families…

"It's a bit of Catch 22" a Salford City UNISON member told the Salford Star "Either we don't refer to these agencies and there's sanctions imposed on the local authority, or we do and they take our work from us.

"We're struggling to find work for them" he added "We've been given instructions to refer to these companies who haven't got any accountability and their results are not judged on outcomes but on how many families they get coming through their service. How are they proving their worth by numbers?"

G4S revealed how it works at a Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion conference in May, titled Families, Communities, Places: A New Way Forward for Delivery. Hot topics included `public sector and welfare reform', while a presentation was entitled `Cost benefit modelling for working with troubled families'...

On the day, George Selmer, North West contracts director with G4S, gave a presentation that was all about numbers and revenues, and not so much about problem families. He revealed that, six months into the Government contract, G4S had achieved only 15% of its target"This represents at best a delay, at worst a loss of around £2million of revenue for our supply chain."

Admitting a lack of referrals and `questions over where the programme fits', Selmer urged conference attendees to provide more referrals and to `trust' the ESF programme… "Providers only get paid if they deliver…But if they don't have enough customers to enable them to hit their targets they can't afford to maintain the service to the necessary levels…"

Salford's troubled families appear to be mere profit making machines to G4S, although at the very end of his presentation George Selmer had a slide stating "We talk a lot about numbers, but we never lose sight of the fact that those numbers represent people's lives being changed…"

For Salford Council employees, it seems that those numbers represent duplication of work that's already being done by them, for private gain…

"We have to give them the families so they can tick their boxes, we have to give them the business" says the UNISON member "What do we do while they are doing that? That's the grey area. We've launched an early intervention service, and what it feels like is that they're coming in and trying to replace that."

There's also a worry that Salford Council might seek the opportunity to axe even more jobs. But even more worrying is the effect this programme might have on the very families that they are meant to be helping.

"We're supposed to go to the families and say `Look we've got this help' but it's yet another person involved in their lives which they may not want" the UNISON member added "At least with the Council there is some democratic control over the service but these companies are accountable to no-one."

G4S, which describes itself as "the largest new entrant into the welfare to work market", is right at the heart of the Government's privatisation plans, and is mainly accountable to its own investors who forever seek fatter and fatter profits…

In Salford, certainly, there's a social mess of Olympic proportions brewing up…

* The Salford Star contacted Work Solutions and Salford Council for a comment but neither has responded.

Vicky wrote
at 14:01:50 on 02 August 2012
Dialogue from G4S offices "Boss, these chavs won't let me in the house...and they were watching Jeremy Kyle while smoking illegal substances" "Well let's take their benefit payments as a sanction then, they've been buying too many Pot Noodles anyway"... How can G4S work with anyone successfully, no matter what there are no jobs for the underqualified and there is no way G4S will do anything but fail.
 
Flabbergasted wrote
at 16:27:28 on 30 July 2012
Are G4S really qualified for this sort of thing when their employees, Danielle Sheldon chew gum mouth off and generally be badly behaved whilst calling residents chavs to their faces and generally insult them? I think not.
 
Underscore wrote
at 15:25:40 on 19 July 2012
This is a company that can't even fulfil their primary function as a "security" firm, and our families are now being put into their hands! Actually Caroline, in a Communist society "The State" doesn't exist.
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 20:26:57 on 18 July 2012
News just in...Salford's troubled families have offered to take over G4S. 'Couldn't just stand by and watch them suffer' says bloke that looks like him off Shameless
 
Irwell Running Through Me wrote
at 14:55:05 on 18 July 2012
Caroline - You have lost me there. Explain?
 
caroline wrote
at 04:14:48 on 18 July 2012
did not the communist wish all to be run by the state..now they have there wish....?
 
HA HA HA wrote
at 04:13:34 on 18 July 2012
G4S ? Ha ha ha ha ha ......Have they got any staff ? The stench of Stewart reeks all over this , and his policy of .....No speekeeEnglishIsation .
 
Peter Tully wrote
at 14:02:47 on 17 July 2012
I thought it was April the 1st when I read this. What a joke!
 
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