'Power to the people' in public services shake-up as David Cameron unveils plans to privatise parts of police service

David Cameron unveiled the biggest shake-up of the public services in half a century yesterday – which will see even parts of the police service privatised.

Businesses, charities and voluntary groups will be allowed to bid to run services in every part of the public services apart from the security services and the judiciary.

The Prime Minister hailed the plans as a chance to ‘end the state’s monopoly over public services’.

Privatisation plan: David Cameron's White Paper could see parts of the police run by businesses, charities and voluntary groups

A White Paper published in the next two weeks will create the presumption that private providers can apply to run nearly all aspects of the public services – with payment based on results.

Private firms will be paid for providing NHS operations, road maintenance, parks and care services.

Most controversially, they will also enable private sector providers to carry out some police services functions such as forensic testing and back office work – though not frontline policing.

‘Police forces are not about to be privatised,’ Mr Cameron’s spokesman said. ‘Capita is not going to be running the Met.’ But officials confirmed some functions will be hived off to contractors.

Mr Cameron said the plans would end the ‘old-fashioned, top-down, take-what-you’re-given’ culture in health, education and town hall services.

Senior figures in No. 10 are aware the planned shake-up will be hugely controversial. Mr Cameron’s new director of policy Paul Kirby wrote a paper last year on how the government should switch to a payment-by-results service.

The document warned: ‘The radical change required will present many risks and create a lot of turbulence.’

Union barons reacted with anger yesterday.

RMT leader Bob Crow said the Government would ‘privatise the air that we breathe if they thought they could away with it’.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘This is a naked Right-wing agenda that takes us right back to the most divisive years of the 1980s.’

The plans also risk causing a split with the Liberal Democrats, who are opposed to profit-making firms owning schools.