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Bidder pulls out of Cornwall Council privatisation project

By RWhitehouse  |  Posted: October 17, 2012

Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council

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ONE of the bidders competing to form a partnership with Cornwall Council to run local services has pulled out.

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) informed Cornwall Council yesterday (Tuesday) that it no longer wanted to be considered for the contract to provide the shared services which would include services for the council and health trusts.

The announcement that it was withdrawing came just after a meeting of Cornwall Council where leader Alec Robertson was voted out of office and his former deputy Jim Currie was elected as his replacement.

Mr Robertson was faced with a vote of no confidence after he ignored a previous council vote which called for a withdrawal from the shared services project. Mr Currie has been an outspoken critic of the project.

CSC was competing with BT to win the contract to provide the services which could be worth up to £800million. The council says that it is the best way of making savings and would also bring investment into Cornwall as well as creating 500 new jobs.

Critics say they are concerned about a private firm being responsible for council services including libraries, benefit payments and IT systems.

In a statement Cornwall Council said: "The council is disappointed that CSC has made the decision to withdraw from the procurement for a strategic partnership for support services. The council would like to thank CSC for its involvement in the programme over the last year and their interest in working with Cornwall Council.

"The council is continuing discussions with BT and the debate on the strategic partnership is still due to go ahead as part of the full council meeting on October 23."

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  • rsurfin  |  October 27 2012, 2:19AM

    @Phil_lip Thks Phil, pleased you liked denial post. Not all did & they probably didn't bother reading it because, yep, in denial. A funny old world especially when you throw a conditioning into the mix. Be a pleasure to shake your hand & have a beer one day. Undoubtedly we could have a stimulating conversation & good laugh Quote John1000 "This is not about how the country is run". Yes Phil again you're correct. It's ALL about how the country is run. Ideology and not just finances. I believe & hope people understand this more. Its not an ideology that appeared in the last few months or since the start of the financial crises. Here it took hold with Thatcher, although this chapter has been going on for 100 years. From the US in 1913 when Congress passed the Federal Reserve Bill & the private Federal Reserve Bank was created in a very deceitful way. The power created then has been forced on the rest of the world since This debate is not about cutting budgets, even if we were informed with accurate figures. Its about what direction we want to go on local and national level. People are engaging not just because of the fear aspect rammed down their throats but because people are not stupid & have had enough. These laymen as Trevorrow condescendingly labels us, have had enough of paying wages of the Politian's that act in a undemocratic way. They've had enough of politicians lying, fiddling expenses while selling their souls to corporations. They've had enough of wars being fought in our name, on credit with no mandate, killing & maiming countless innocent people, including children, while spreading depleted uranium all over the Middle East. The only weapons of mass destruction are ours, which we cannot afford, financially or environmentally Whats happening at Cornwall Council epitomises the issues & is simply a perverse undemocratic step too far. Its not just about cash but ethics & dissonance that ripples through our society. Its about why the proletariat who pay the wages of the politicians & supply the profits to the corporation are uncomfortable, apprehensive & angry. The proletariat have been disenfranchised & do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. The politicians or those with vested interests are those who tell us that's not how we should feel. They tell us with a smile while they're fiddling trillions in taxes, which also could have been added to your well-illustrated Financial Analysis. Of course its perverse & anyone who believes otherwise is a fool, in denial or part of the darkness that permeates through modern society On the subject of darkness, Banks & financial markets are a classic example of what is being repeated in too many aspects of society. The financiers create the most horrendous mess yet they are the ones who are dictating the terms of austerity & the ones who benefit. Its no different than you or I committing a wicked crime, then being the prosecutor & judge, then paying ourselves huge bonuses for the privilege. May sound good but it isn't gonna solve the problems. We could not commit as many crimes in our lifetimes as the banks in the last few years & so far only one banker has been prosecuted. Beggars believe eh?!. And we're supposed to be subservient to them & their acolytes! We're expected to live a life to servitude to debt that does not exist because at the end on the day debt is one big illusion as the money doesn't really exist. Its digital nonsense, there is no cash & never has been since the gold standard was abolished in 73 by the criminal Nixon while he was waging an illegal war, killing millions of innocent in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos. Funny how history repeats itself! CONS People will not be silent & some of us will keep plugging away, trying to help others understand truth & reality so they can make their own informed decisions. Keep up the good work!

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  • John1000  |  October 26 2012, 9:36PM

    "As I was saying - I look forward to the evaluation of options for the future delivery of services, including working with our health partners, who are I understand disappointed at the delay as it impacts some of their big transformation plans re telehealth and electronic records. How long will it take for the options to be worked up agains the BT option I wonder and how much more than the £2 million spent on this project so far. At some point a decision must be made one way or the other to stop this financial bleed on time and external consultants." .

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  • John1000  |  October 26 2012, 9:35PM

    "As I was saying - I look forward to the evaluation of options for the future delivery of services, including working with our health partners, who are I understand disappointed at the delay as it impacts some of their big transformation plans re telehealth and electronic records. How long will it take for the options to be worked up agains the BT option I wonder and how much more than the £2 million spent on this project so far. At some point a decision must be made one way or the other to stop this financial bleed on time and external consultants." .

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  • John1000  |  October 26 2012, 6:53AM

    As I was saying - I look forward to the evaluation of options for the future delivery of services, including working with our health partners, who are I understand disappointed at the delay as it impacts some of their big transformation plans re telehealth and electronic records. How long will it take for the options to be worked up agains the BT option I wonder and how much more than the £2 million spent on this project so far. At some point a decision must be made one way or the other to stop this financial bleed on time and external consultants.

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  • rsurfin  |  October 25 2012, 10:45AM

    BT gambles that Premier League deal will pay off faster than broadband Observer 17.06.12 Spending £738m on football might annoy customers waiting for a fast internet connection, but BT thinks it can afford it The £3bn carve-up of the Premier League broadcast rights was a shock result that had fans cheering, but investors weeping. The arrival of a formidable challenger to Sky in the shape of BT is to be welcomed, because competition will keep TV & broadband prices keen. But the telecoms provider's expensive foray into sports broadcasting will stick in the craw of millions of households still waiting for a decent broadband connection. BT is writing a £738m cheque for 114 games, £6.5m a match, which works out at roughly a third of the £2.5bn it is spending to upgrade its creaking copper network to fibre for an increasingly internet-addicted customer base. That investment will mostly cover urban areas, the two thirds of UK homes that are easiest to reach & already have access to the most reliable broadband, as well an attractive alternative in the shape of Virgin Media's very fast cable network. But what of the households being left out in the cold? The government has earmarked public money to ensure that, within five years, 90% of the UK will have superfast broadband, with the final 10% guaranteed a basic 2Mb connection – enough for one computer to watch the BBC iPlayer. That pot of public money is just £530m, comfortably less than BT's football flutter, & the company has offered to match that when it wins contracts from local councils to carry out the work. Further sums may come from Europe. But there are already signs that this won't deliver the 2017 targets. On Friday morning, as the City was digesting the dramatic shift in Britain's pay-TV landscape by lopping points off BT's & Sky's share prices The football rights only last for three years, & experts at research firm Enders Analysis think it unlikely BT will make a return by 2016. Unless it can take more matches from Sky in the next auction, or dramatically increase the 700,000 subscribers to its BT Vision TV service, the sports channel will probably continue to make a loss. It's a pattern that bankrupted previous Sky challengers like Setanta, but with £6bn a year in earnings, BT can afford to take the hit. & it argues that good TV content will help sell fibre. Bundle in 80Mb broadb& with top-flight films & sport & you can reel them in. Ultimately, what BT has chosen to do is invest its money where the competition is. It is laying fibre in Virgin Media areas, & investing in TV in order to keep its own broadband customers from jumping ship to Sky. In Cumbria, nobody is lining up to build a deluxe fibre network. The government has no plans to divert significant new sums into broadband before the next general election, despite the economic benefits that good internet access can bring. The argument from the ministers in charge, Jeremy Hunt & Ed Vaizey, is that the private sector will fill the gap. But the Premier League's pay rise suggests that more money will flow into football than fibre Here today, gone trevorrow

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  • rsurfin  |  October 24 2012, 11:35PM

    One of numerous classic examples why we don't want more private sector contracts A4e is a business consultancy that offers to make millions from the unemployed by treating them as a commodity to private and public companies. They've received billions of public money & in 2012 had contracts for £438million just with the back to Work program June 09, The Observer disclosed a fraud investigation into A4e which was instigated after the Department for Work and Pensions uncovered discrepancies in its confirmation of employment forms - discrepancies which centred upon the falsification of employers' signatures by a number of recruiters June 10, A4e announced employee's laptop containing personal details of 24,269 people had been stolen. The laptop wasn't encrypted or recovered Sept 11, A4e were awarded £250,000 contract to advise David Cameron's office on future privatisations & how to design welfare contracts with private firms & getting value for money in contracting out. A4e has been hired by the Cabinet Office to advise on rules governing 4 experimental schemes aimed at families Jan 12, Four former employees of A4e were arrested on suspicion of fraud dating back to 2010 Feb, The Guardian revealed A4e had forced jobseekers to work unpaid in its own offices, had been investigated nine times by the Department for Work and Pensions since 2005, and had been forced to repay public funds on 5 occasions after government investigations found irregularities. Thames Valley Police's Economic Crime Unit was revealed to be investigating alleged theft by A4e staff of 'tens of thousands of pounds' worth of vouchers meant to help unemployed back to work Chairman Emma Harrison resigns as David Cameron's personal adviser in the wake of being investigated over allegations of multiple fraud. The next day, she resigns as chairman of A4e amid criticism of conflicts of interest regarding government contracts & allegations of routine fraud March, Another case of signature forgery while A4e was working for Redcar & Cleveland Council to help disadvantaged young people into education, training or work. An inquiry found signatures had been forged to exaggerate the number of vulnerable people the project had reached The DWP announced it had been made aware of an allegation of attempted fraud in relation to a Mandatory Work Activity contract with A4e. It stated that it had begun an investigation into this allegation & also as a result of the allegation an independent audit of all our commercial relationships with A4e Newsnight revealed that they had received a leaked document suggesting systemic fraud at the company The Skills Funding Agency revealed A4e to be a preferred bidder for prison education contracts and awarded A4e 2 such contracts worth up to £30million April, Police officers raided A4e's office in Slough after allegations were referred to them by the DWP May, Exaro news published leaked internal audit report which exposed potential fraud at A4e. The report compiled by the audit & risk department examined a sample of 224 of the company's job placements & found potential fraudulent activity is not confined to one particular geographical area & shows systematic failure to mitigate the risk towards this behaviour at regional level Channel 4 revealed A4e had only found 4020 jobs that lasted over 3 months in the 10 months up to May 2012,for its 115,000 compulsory attendees at a cost to the taxpayer of £45 million It was revealed that Harrison was paid an £8.6million shares in 2011, in addition to her £365,000 salary. A4e also paid Harrison £1.7m over 2 years for leasing properties, including her 20-bedroom stately home, to her own firm. £4m was shared between other directors through Personal Service Companies, avoiding payment of National Insurance. All funded by taxpayers

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  • rsurfin  |  October 24 2012, 3:03PM

    What were you saying about distractions John1000? I, and many far more qualified than I, have stated that the environment should be taken into consideration on all decisions taken on the proletariats behalf and that of future generations. If people cannot do this they have no place in the decision process as it will not lead to a cohesive civilised society. The problems of this country were created by the people who now most benefit, which would not be so bad if there was not so much suffering but look around, this is not the case and it does not have to be like this. My Grandfather and millions of others did not spend 5 years fighting Nazism and Fascism so this country could become an ever increasing Fascist state with millions condemned to indefinite servitude to debt through no fault of their own Its not acceptable, especially when we look deeper into the true facts. What's really amusing John1000 is the fact that you have no idea who you are ultimately working for. Don't be ashamed as puppets often do not know who pulls their strings but if I may suggest, if you have children or any decency you might want to work a few things out before its too late. The next generation will be asking what we knew and why we did not make more informed decisions and take more mature action on such fundamental issues. Living with regret can be the painful of experiences. On the subject of books try Arnold J Toynbee's classic 'Civilization on Trial'. He worked much of it out in 1948. If you want something more up to date try Thomas Homer-Dixon - 'The Upside of Down – Catastrophe, Creativity, and The Renewal of Civilisation' or Porritt's – 'Capitalism as if the World Matters'. You probably need to get up to speed on Environmental issues also so a good starting point is Rachel Carson's Classic – 'Silent Spring' from 1963 or any of Fred Pearce's books or if you need a real reality check try Mark Lynas – 'Six Degrees'. If you're a very busy man I can summaries any of the above or provide links that will allow you to make more informed decisions. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored so please try think out of the box.. History and up to date understanding tells us much so go study it and break out of denial. Become a free thinker and you might really enjoy it and become more productive. I'll be expanding on Phil Lip's excellent post later so you will have a bit more factual information to work with. Here today, gone trevorrow....

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  • rsurfin  |  October 24 2012, 2:02PM

    Before you repeat yourself yet again John1000 don't tell me what I should or should not say or what is or is not distraction. You don't set the agenda even if you had the intelligence. I've earned my right to freedom of speech by serving my country, putting my life at risk in war and paying my taxes thank you very much. You don't have to read everything and you may stay ill informed, that's your choice but your credibility correspondingly diminishes. What do you know about the environment? What do you know about the computer network that BT relies upon? This New York Times article will provide some info. Power, Pollution and the Internet - http://tinyurl.com/96gnguy As history will prove some of us are well ahead of you including James Lovelock. Have you heard of him? James Lovelock, CH, CBE, FRS, Ph.D. Independent scientist, inventor, author of over 200 scientific papers & author of five books on the subject of Earth sciences. One of his many inventions was the electron capture detector, which was important in the detection & measurement of CFCs in the atmosphere. He worked with NASA and some of his inventions adopted in their programme of planetary exploration. He was awarded a CBE in 1990 and in 2003 made a Companion of Honour by the Queen. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 74 and has been an Honorary Visiting Fellow of Green College, University of Oxford, since 94. Awards include; 1990 the first Amsterdam Prize for the Environment by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, the Nonino Prize in 96, Japan's Blue Planet Prize in 97 and April 06 awarded the Edinburgh Medal at the Edinburgh International Science Festival. In Sept 2005 Prospect magazine named him as one of the world's top 100 global intellectuals and New Scientist refer to him as a genius. Etc Richard Branson, a hero of free marketers has so much respect for Lovelock he has reserved one of the first seats on his orbital space launcher. You should read Lovelock's 'A Final Warning', Based on Lovelocks unequalled experience and empirical science. And before you think about it, you and no other are in a position to question Lovelock. A few quotes from 'A Final Warning';"We do not seem to have the slightest understanding of the seriousness of our plight. Instead, before our thoughts were diverted by the global financial collapse, we seemed lost in an endless round of celebration and congratulation. As we hold our meetings and talk of stewardship, the planet moves step by step towards the hot state, one that will allow it to continue as the regulator, but where few of us will be alive. I am not a willing Cassandra and in the past have been publicly sceptical about doom stories but this time we do have to take seriously the possibility that global heating may all but eliminate people from the Earth. I have little confidence in the smooth rising curve of temperature that modellers predict. The Earth's history and simple climate models based on the notion of a live and responsive Earth suggest that sudden change and surprise are likely. My pessimism is shared by other scientists and openly by the distinguished climate scientist James Hansen, who finds as I do that the evidence now coming from the Earth, together with the knowledge of its history, is gravely disturbing. Most of all I am pessimistic because business and governments both appear to be accepting uncritically a belief that climate change is easily and profitably reversible. The real Earth changes intermittently with spells of constancy, even slight decline, between the jumps to greater heat. Sir Partha Dasgupta warned that models of the economy shared with those of the climate a similar fickle unpredictability. We now know that the huge debts incurred by the first world were its cause. We have no notion when our environmental indebtedness will bring even greater ruin, only that it will happen."

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  • rsurfin  |  October 24 2012, 1:41PM

    I'm sorry to disappoint you John1000 but you're incorrect. You're trying to con or you have been conned. I find it interesting how you and Trevorrow continually put words in others mouths. It's a physiological response of going offensive when under attack or in an intellectual cul-de-sac. You guys are so far behind its becoming a distant whimper. Your ref to E.F. Schumacher is also incorrect. Go read John Perkins, he worked for some of the largest US corporations and the US government. He was on personal terms with international CEO's and national leaders alike. Who did you say you were? Go research Milton Freidman and Chicago School of Economics 'The Chicago Boy's'. Deregulation, open markets and open financial borders, tax cuts for rich and corporations, selling off the best assets at rock bottom prices, including BT. Go discover how they influenced Thatcher via Friedrich August von Hayek, an Austrian and British economist known for his defense of free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought. He worked at the Chicago School of Economics and visited Pinochet with the Chicago boys 1981. He was so impressed he wrote to his good friend Maggie Thatcher urging her to use Chile as a model for transforming Britain. Thatcher would later become a good friend of Pinochet and admired what had been done in Chile but when Hayek suggest shock therapy for Britain she was not convinced citing the democratic institutions in Britain would find the actions in Chile unacceptable. However, Thatcher was struggling, unions were strong and having none of this madness. The Conservatives were struggling with an election approaching. Six weeks later Thatcher changed her mind. On 2nd April Argentina invaded the Falklands. Both sides had political reasons to want war, in additional to the fact that the Falklands are not just a few islands but a massive territory spreading to the Antarctic. An area where massive resources, oil, gas, minerals etc. The Argentina ruthless junta, also backed by the US were in their final days and playing the patriotic war card. The average Brit didn't really care too much about the Falklands, Thatcher showed disdain for the financial burden it brought and so had cut grants and announced major cutbacks to the navy including the armed ship guarding the islands, a move the Argentineans read as the British losing interest. In 1982 it did not look like Thatcher would be able to win the 83 election but now she had a patriotic cause and the cover required to apply economic shock therapy. A bit of 'shock and awe' was needed and the Falklands would be the perfect theatre. So a task force costing a fortune was dispatched to duffed up the Argies, with a little help from Pinochet of Chilli. All the action, censored and beamed in to our front rooms thousands of miles away firing up jingoistic militaristic nonsense. 'Operation Corporate' saw 255 British and 655 Argentineans, mainly conscripts killed and Thatcher basking in the glory was heralded a hero, 'the iron lady'. The UK public bought it, hook line and sinker, her rating went from the lowest in UK history 25% to 59%, she called an early elections and walked it. She announced; 'we had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands and now we have to fight the enemy within, which is much more difficult but just as dangerous to liberty. This were you ideologies are rooted. Go research why Blair and Brown jumped on concord to visit Freeman to became his lap dogs before and after they were elected. We were then told there would be no boom or bust yet look at the state of our UK and globalised economy now. And don't say it happened by bad luck many people forecasts the folly of our particular capitalist model. Go Google Nouriel Roubini a US economist who knows a bit more than you. All this info is in the public domain yet people chose to ignore it, probable because they are ignorant these facts exist or chose to remain in denial.

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  • roger_angove  |  October 24 2012, 8:02AM

    I can't see why any business would want to make any kind of deal with the limping lame duck shambles of Cornwall Council. The new leader - Jim Currie - is leading a caretaker administration and will be standing down at the next election (in about six months). The situation as it stands is frankly bizarre. The leader of the council cannot command a majority within his own party clique - the walking disaster Robertson still leads the Conservatives. The new cabinet contains a soi-disant 'poet' (Biscoe) with no relevant experience of anything, and the trade unionist thug Kaczmarek has been kept on the payroll of the privileged in spite of demonstrating his ungovernable temper only a few days ago. In spite of being warned and asked to moderate his tone Kaczmarek had a tantrum and had to be physically restrained by two security staff before being manhandled out of the Council chamber. How long until the next tantrum? The new leader also has some interesting business associates (according to his own declaration of interests on the Council web site). Not only does Currie have no majority within his own Tory clique but the declares on of his business associates as Mr R.Teverson. Interestingly, Cllr Teverson makes no reciprocal declaration of his business interests. Cornwall Council reeks of sleaze and incompetence at every level. Removing Robertson was a good (if somewhat belated) start to the necessary clean-up in the wake of his removal. However, until we have a newly elected Council with some sort of mandate from the Cornish tax payers any business would be wise to exercise caution before striking any deals.

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