When he was Environment Secretary Nicholas Ridley used to talk approvingly of a local council in the US which used to meet once a year to award the contracts.
Selby District Couincil seem to be moving towards that model. They propose to save £3 million by cutting its staff from 300 to 14. Instead they would have a "service delivery vehicle" which most staff would transfer to and would seek a commercial partner and be able to look for business elsewhere.
However it would be Council owned. I think to meet the Ridley test it would have to be privately owned.
More details in the Local Government Chronicle (£)