Saturday, 8 September 2012

Privatisation of services at Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council is planning to privatise or outsource all of its services to a private company. This is known as ‘shared services’. One of the companies in the frame is BT. A new company will be formed with one person on the board to represent the council. This will not be an elected member but well-paid Chief Executive Kevin Lavery. Rumour has it that Lavery has been linked to both BT and the other companies in the frame for the takeover.

Some of the areas involved include public health, libraries and One Stop Shops (including the administration of housing benefit for example). The council say this could mean up to 1000 job losses and others could be invited to re-apply for their jobs on worse conditions.

Cornwall Council now says it needs to find £30million ‘savings’ (cuts) for 2013/14.

Not only is this devastating for the workers that lose their jobs, it will also be a blow for the users that will find they have a poorer quality of service as the new company cuts corners, pay, conditions and services.

Moreover there has been a flagrant disregard of democracy in the way this has been carried out. The council cabinet of Tories and independents pushed this through at a cabinet meeting. A subsequent meeting of the full council voted by a clear majority to overturn this decision. The cabinet have subsequently stated that they have the power to go ahead without the backing of full council and will not be backing down.

These plans are devastating for Cornwall and will hit workers and users alike. It is also a shocking indictment of a council leadership that has no respect for democracy or the wishes of ordinary people. They must be defeated.

Come to this public meeting organised by Penwith Anti-Cuts Alliance to hear more about this and to discuss how to stop it.

Penwith Anti-Cuts Alliance

Phone: 07817397756
Twitter: @pzanticuts

Ø Attacks on our NHS, including staff pay and conditions?
Ø Privatisation and outsourcing of council services?
Ø Cuts to housing benefits?
Ø Cuts to other benefits?

Penwith Anti-Cuts Alliance is holding a public meeting for everyone opposed to all these unnecessary cuts, privatisations and job losses. We will discuss the scale of the attacks we face and what we can do to stop them.

“I think people are generally fed up. There’s the destruction of the NHS and the de-valuing of our nursing staff. But there’s also the daily struggle to pay bills and put food on the table while top bankers are still getting extortionate bonuses.”

Carla Whiting, a Unison member in Cornwall acute health

Public meeting: Tuesday 25 September at 7:30pm
The Lugger Hotel,
Marine Terrace (the promenade)

Friday, 7 September 2012

Socialism or Barbarism in Greece

Stathis Kouvelakis, a socialist from Greece, reports on the changing situation there.
"Greece is a new Weimar Republic type of situation, but with the radical left leading the race. By a reliable poll institute: Syriza 30%, New Democracy (Right) 28%, Golden Dawn (Nazis) 12%; PASOK (Labour) 7,5%, KKE (Communists) 6%, DIMAR ("Democratic Left" part of the current government) 4%.The Nazis are the third force, the display of street violence has obviously given them a new impetus. It's us or, if we fail, it will be them!"
See here for the link.

As the Polish revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg said, we will have "socialism or barbarism".