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)


  1. Privatise? No.

    Outsource? No.

    Save services: Yes.

    Save jobs? Yes.

  2. Thanks for your comment 'Anonymous'. So let me guess, are you a Tory by any chance? Or are you Kevin Lavery or one of his family or friends? Or are you connencted with BT or one of the other companies likely to make money out of ordinary people's problems?

    Privatise? Yes.

    Outsource? Yes.

    Save services? No.

    Save jobs? Absolutely not. Your argument is patently ridiculous. The claim of a loss of a thousand jobs comes from the council cabinet themselves. That is part of the plan. They say quite upfrom that they are cutting jobs and services to save money. If you Google 'shared services' you find councils up and down the country bringing in 'shared services' where jobs have been lost, services cut and private companies making a profit.

    For example: "shared services...lead to increased centralisation, job losses, decreased access to services for the public and the loss of democratic accountability." (

    Or: "A Somerset shared services operation has registered losses of more than £30m and there are] 'Fewer jobs' in Somerset's £20m change plan" (

    Or: "Seventy staff working for the shared service ICT function between Cheshire ... (CWaC) councils are facing job losses due to overrunning costs." ( › Public Sector › News)

    Or: "All across the country UNISON branches are dealing with shared services .... conditions at risk, lead to job losses and damage standards of service." (

    So 'Anonymous', do you think we are idiots?