Local government has always interested me.
The debate, if one can call it that, has consisted mostly of dog-whistles from the government. The whole "rates have risen too quickly, therefore we must intervene in this manner" meme is so full of flaws I have a whole lot of half-written posts attacking the individual wrongness of it all.
In amongst all the hoohaa about rates rises, staff costs rises and debt rises, there are some unasked and unanswered questions. I'd like to know:
how much has the contracting out of services increased since [arbitrary time period, selected to emphasize the point]?, and
how much has the cost of contracted services increased over the same time period?
My gut feeling is that it will be easy enough to demonstrate the cost of contracting out has risen faster than the rise in rates. This implies that councils have become more efficient, rather than less.
Let the pendulum swing.