Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Suffolk County Council Cuts Go Ahead: First Wave of Transfers Looms.

with 13 comments

Suffolk for Public Services picket line outside Endeavour House. 

Suffolk for Public Services picket line outside Endeavour House.

No Coatesy, He Was On A  ‘Motivation Programme’  Course.

(Suffolk Coalition for Public Services: Facebook group Here).

 MEMBERS of Suffolk County Council today approved controversial moves that could lead to the authority selling off most, or even all, its services and the loss of thousands of jobs. More Here.

From the Official Policy Documents (‘New Strategic Direction’) Given to Councillors:

The lack of detail about the Big Society, and the pace at which some of the artefacts are developing (sic) , the Big Society Bank for example, has created a policy vacuum.The council is being understanding (sic) with this vacuum within the vacuum primary with the conversation about divestment (i.e. privatisation Note by Coatesy).

Sources close to the Suffolk Labour Party indicate that ‘divestment’ will take place in 3 phases.

The  first will mean that Registrars, Home First, the Records Offices, Independent Children’s Centres, Country parks, Hate Crime Services, and Youth Clubs will be hived off. That is, either to private companies, ‘social enterprises’  or will be ‘volunteer-run’ . Libraries are thought to be transferred to a ‘social enterprise’ with some branches also run by ‘volunteers’. A senior Labour Party figure indicated that he thought the use of volunteers may extend to other libraries.

Several thousand County Council employees are set to lose their jobs.

We are interested to know how private companies will make a profit out of hate crimes.

Dear Councillor
We understand that today the leader of Suffolk County Council will be putting forward proposals to the Council, which will enable the outsourcing of those Public Services currently served by the Council.
We are most concerned by the detrimental effect this will have on jobs and actual services.
This extreme course of action did not feature in any election manifesto received by the public in the recent County Coumcil elections and we therefore, demand that, if you consider yourself in support of such proposals, you should resign from your elected post and re-stand on a manifesto that clearly outlines the demise of Public Services in Suffolk.

Bridge Ward news has yet to comment.

Ipswich & District Trades Union Council.

Members from this newly formed Coalition, following a meeting of local Public Sector Trades Unionists on September 9th, will be picketing County Councillors as they enter Endeavour House for a full County Council meeting, and will present them with the following message:

UPDATE:  Our Informant proves accurate:

By Neil Puffett
Children & Young People Now
24 September 2010

Youth clubs, integrated youth support and children’s centres will be among the first potential pilot projects for outsourcing services at Suffolk County Council, it has emerged. More Here.

Guardian Commentary by Patrick Butler  here,

These changes are a mixture of inspiration and desperation. Some may lead to better, cheaper services. Others could lead to catastrophe. The consequences of this rapid, largely unstrategic shakeup – its effect on democratic accountability, its economic impact on areas where the council is the largest local employer – are unclear.

Some experts say restructuring on this scale is hard enough at the best of times. Service transformation, the argument goes, happens most effectively when there is money to oil the wheels of change. Blair could have done it in the age of plenty seven years ago; now the piggy bank is empty. Councils are not yet allowed to raise money on the capital markets, and are prevented from putting up council tax.

Change on this scale is hugely expensive. Redundancy payouts in local government – while not as generous as in the civil service – are typically equivalent to two years’ salary. In theory outsourcing transfers costs and risk to the private sector. Done badly, councils end up paying more, locked into costly, underperforming long-term contracts, or trapped in legal challenges brought by trade unions.

Nor is there any guarantee that the private companies and charities will be queuing up to take the contracts. Transferred council workers by law keep their council terms and conditions and must be offered “broadly comparable” pensions – requirements that often end up as outsourcing dealbreakers.

For Tory-run councils, such as Suffolk, the public spending crisis seems to offer an ideological opportunity to change the face of local government. Making it a reality will not be easy.

If Patrick Butler knew the people behind this plan – the Tory Councillors to begin with , and had read the Strategic Plan cited above (gibberish and incoherence mixed with naked ultra-market ideology), he would be more than sceptical.

He would be scathing.

We should be out in Tavern Street tommorow (weather permitting) from 11.00 a.m.

Well-known Suffolk Facts Number 1: Council Chief Executive, Andrea Hill’s salary is aprox £220,000 per year.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm

13 Responses

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  1. […] Andy Coates has written a doom and gloom article with all the usual left wing nonsense here. […]

  2. Bloody terrible, Andy.

    Sue R

    September 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm

  3. […] More details from Coatsey. […]

  4. I think it’s a big mistake to jump in ahead of everybody else and be the first county council to do this.

    What happens if one of the private service providing firms goes tits up (in a similar vain to what happend to one of the rail companies, in which case national government had to step in and run it) But that will be difficult at local county level as Suffolk has effectivly scrapped itself as an entity, so will have no staff to step in. Surely this could go badly wrong as the only opption then is find another private company who can step in at short odds and run the service which will no doubt mean paying over the top rates for the service which is then going to have a huge knock on effect to council tax.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 24, 2010 at 9:47 am

  5. BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11398678

    A county council has agreed to slash its £1.1bn budget by 30% by outsourcing almost all its services.

    The decision by Suffolk County Council could be seen as model for other councils to follow.

    Under the New Strategic Direction almost all council services will be offloaded to social enterprises or companies over the next few years.

    Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/22/suffolk-county-council-outsource-services

    Unions have warned the plan puts a huge number of the council’s 27,000 jobs at risk.

    The aim is to turn the authority from one which provides public services itself, to an enabling council which commissions other to carry out the services.

    It could eventually see the council’s workforce slimmed down to just a few hundred people who would manage the contracts.

    Andrew Coates

    September 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm

  6. Surely a big problem is going to be if other councils sit on their hands for ages to see what happens especialy neighbouring councils like Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex it’s going to mean Suffolk C.C. has no choice of companies out their who can take on the contracts, and if you add Suffolk C.C.’s proven utter ineptitude when it comes to understanding how to draught a ciontract eg. paying the head 3X the going rate then clearly these idiots will get done up like a kipper at the contract stage Its just madness going first, its the equivelent of paying to stick a solar panel on your house to generate electricity in 1980.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm

  7. Full List of First Wave of Outsourcing:

    • Transactional property
    • Registrars
    • Suffolk traded services
    • Employment enterprises, learning and careers advice
    • Libraries
    • Home First
    • A record office
    • Independent Living Centres
    • Highway Services
    • Country Parks
    • Economic Development
    • Youth clubs, and Integrated Youth Support and Outdoor Education
    • Early Years & Childcare, including Children’s Centres
    • Home Shield Plus
    • Hate Crime Service

    From: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/localgovernment/2010/09/suffolk-county-council-plans-to-become-enabling-authority-.html

    It is interesting that the Conservative Local Government Blog gives more information than Suffolk COunty Council’s own site.

    Andrew Coates

    September 25, 2010 at 10:07 am

  8. Andrew

    To be honest I am lost for words over this, did the local conservative party campaign on doing this during the last county council election?

    It is not as if the Uk has not been their and done this, and binned it after it proved a wicked and miserable failure. Has no one in Suffolk read Dickens. The workhouse was based around charitable status, as to were many cottage hospitals, etc.

    As to the libraries being staffed by volunteers, how insulting is this to those who study for years to become librarians.

    The reason such exploitative methods of organising local services were abolished was because they simply did not work. Ditto for a private railway system.

    Go into almost any charity shop and you will see why charities will never be able to replace public services. Help do away with them without feeling guilty perhaps.

    As to privatising whole sections of local government tasks, you can see why tories and new labour would be up for it, the opportunities for corrupt practice will multiply, Mr chair [of council contract at knock down prices] Tesco wishes to build a new supermarket, 200K, deal done and cheap at the price.

    Need I go on.

    Mick Hall

    September 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm

  9. No Mick they did not.

    Which is why we call on them to resign and fight an election on this platform.

    Andrew Coates

    September 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

  10. “No Mick they did not.”


    Dam right if ever there was an argument for a rerun of an election this is it.

    Mick Hall

    September 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm

  11. The Tories did not secure 50% of the vote in the 2009 Suffolk County Council elections

    so no mandate for privatisation

    As for privatisation lets look at GP out of Hours services, Hospital Cleaning and PFI

    all carried out by private companies

    how much more did tax papyers pay how many patients died


    September 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

  12. […] von entdinglichung am 27. September 2010 Tendance Coatesy weist in zwei Artikeln ([1], [2]) auf die geplanten Kürzungen im britischen County Suffolk hin … um das bisherige Budget von […]

  13. Transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) TUPE
    Companies or individuals who tender for contracts with Suffolk County Council are advised that in certain circumstances the provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/246) known as TUPE, may apply.

    This entirely replaces the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 (SI 1981/1794) which have often been referred to as the TUPE regulations.
    Where these regulations apply there will be a responsibility placed upon the successful bidder to comply fully with this legislation.

    Suffolk Person

    September 29, 2010 at 11:33 am

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