A Question for BCC re Budget Consultation 2014-15

Is BCC going to reveal the details of its contract with the seemingly expensive service provider Capita before it closes its consultation on this budget? It seems very hard for Birmingham residents to fully understand how this budget can work unless we know these details. We know that a lot of money has been paid to Capita though (at least £120 m. annually) and there are plenty of rumours that we could get some of the services they provide more cheaply elsewhere. It seems for example that spending on IT provided by Capita has been ring-fenced at District Level, whilst other services are being cut, and there have been a lot of questions over the expensive but very average seeming new Library for Birmingham website. It seems most suburbs in Brum are very concerned about the spending cuts and loss of services. Could we have more bang for our buck if less of our money was going to Capita shareholders? Why are all the details being kept secret, when Capita has shown its willingness to reveal details of its contract with another Council? It may be that the cancellation costs would be huge but the people of Birmingham simply don’t know what is going on. How can we be expected to support the budget on this basis? Why are we being treated like children?

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