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BT welcomes plan for privatisation

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 20, 2012

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CORNWALL Council's decision to press ahead with cut-down plans to privatise some services has been welcomed by the firm in the running to win the contract.

At a meeting of the full council last week it was agreed that what has been dubbed as "BT Light" should progress following a fractious few months at County Hall.

Former council leader Alec Robertson was ousted from his post and several Cabinet members resigned after councillors spoke out against the plans to form a new partnership with a private company to provide services such as libraries and back office functions.

The Joint Venture (JV) project also includes working alongside health organisations in Cornwall to provide their IT systems as well as telehealth services.

Under the "light" version agreed by the council last week key services such as libraries, face to face customer services and procurement will remain with the council while services such as IT and payroll would be provided by the private firm.

A report to councillors last week stated that negotiations would have to take place with BT and the health partners before any deal for the light JV could be agreed.

This week BT welcomed the council's decision.

A statement said: "BT is delighted that Cornwall Council has decided to progress to the final stages in developing a partnership with their health partners and BT and we look forward to working with them over the coming weeks to conclude the process."

If the proposal goes ahead some 340 council staff would transfer to the new company along with around 150 health staff.

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  • peskyp  |  December 22 2012, 11:04AM

    Redundancies are a fact of life and whether you are in public or private sector it makes no difference. What you get with a private organisation running the show is a business model that is as good as it gets with no slack, maybe a bit thin at times but no slack. Unless you have worked in a council whilst not working for it, do you see where efficiencies can be made. The realisation of little cash is hurting everyone and the only way to make life better is to turn our welfare system into what it was, a support mechanism for those in need, not a crutch for every migrant that comes to our soft nation.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  December 20 2012, 9:49PM

    Its all very well BT saying that there will be no redundancies but that is pointless if they try and transfer you to Newcastle, you loose your job in cornwall

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  December 20 2012, 8:51PM

    After the cllrs decision of 3 dec 2010 job cuts were made ''(b) By compulsory redundancy In the period commencing 3 December 2010 to date the number of employees whose employment terminated due to compulsory redundancy was 172. (c) By employees accepting early retirement In the period commencing 3 December 2010 to date the number of employees whose employment terminated early for reasons other than compulsory redundancy was 387.'' 587 people with no job!!!! I think we can safely assume that, with further cuts of 20 to 30 % to budget and the thin jv only protecting a smaller number of staff and only able to make less savings, we can expect to see this trend of council jobs continue

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  • ackedoff  |  December 20 2012, 7:50PM

    H-Trevorrow! you really are nieve, staff transferred under any TUPE agreement ARE NOT protected at all. If you read the legislation properly its full of more holes than my granmas culinder! It allows new employers to do may things including legally shed jobs through "restructuring".Thats official blurb for really making people redundant to save costs by the way. As for any no redundency policy, which I am aware says that staff will be re depolyed,it is like the TUPE regs to be honest, not worth the paper its written on. A) there has to be jobs (vacancies) to move to B) those moving need to have the appropriate skill sets to do those jobs and C) how much would you like to bet that the jobs that MIGHT be available are either part time. have entirely different terms and conditions and/or are paid alot less than the original? Staff would not have been protected at all under the JV, in fact they would have been more vulnerable as the council would have had less control over the contract details than the revised project...........believe this or not thats why our councilors voted for this version of the JV..........hang on hasnt this been discussed with you before????? ground hog day!! What will you have to say on this forum now your erst while leader is leaving to privatise New Zealand? Josdave has hit the nail on the head, again. The only winners in any privatisation scheme are the share holders and CE's

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  • shagrats  |  December 20 2012, 4:30PM

    Personally, I would like to see BT only have one thing to do, then if they make an "Ed Balls" of it, it will show that they can't and shouldn't be trusted with anything else, if they make a success and 1) improve the service 2) Make savings and 3) secure jobs pay and conditions, then give them something else. My prediction that since this Telehealth service will be very dependant on basic IT skills from the end users that it will fall short of any efficiency. And when problems arise the switchboards will get swamped with complaints. It should keep Lawrence Reed from radio cornwall in work for quite a few years.

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  December 20 2012, 2:46PM

    All the jobs transferred will be protected under bt's no-redundancy policy. Those jobs left under council control are now under threat especially in Libraries and any non essential functions. They would have been protected under the full jv .

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  • josdave  |  December 20 2012, 2:24PM

    Of course BT welcome it it's more money in the pot for the shareholders. Forget the customers they don't count. As with all privatisation there will be job cuts and poorer services as shareholders must get their cut.

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  • toffer99  |  December 20 2012, 9:52AM

    Goodbye Cornwall and other local councils. By the time of the next election it is the Tories aim to reduce you all to providing only rubbish collection and a little emergency social care. They are well on their way to succeeding. Look for it in their manifesto; you won't find it anywhere.

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