Contract service firms in local authorities: evolving geographies of activity
Regional Studies, 33, (2), .
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Contract service firms in local authorities: evolving geographies of activity, Reg. Studies 33 , 121-130. The introduction of compulsory competitive tendering has significantly reshaped the nature of manual service provision in local authorities. Since 1989, private firms have won an increasing share of contracts, particularly within the cleaning and catering sectors. The paper evaluates the activities of large national and multinational companies, and both considers the reasons why such firms have taken on local government contracts, and examines decisions to bid for contracts in particular places. It is suggested that cleaning and catering firms have been influenced by perceptions about the political control of local authorities and by the shape of the management structures of firms' existing contracts. The paper indicates that a previous north-south split in tendering patterns has been replaced by more complex geographies of private sector activity.
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