Login Register

Petition by Cornwall Council backbenchers to keep core services in-house

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

Cornwall Council

Comments (0)

BACKBENCHERS at Cornwall Council opposing plans to hand services to a private company have asked the public to support their campaign.

A cross-party group which put forward the motion opposing the plans at full council last week has set up a petition repeating call for the council to back away from the project.

If 1,000 people sign the petition the issue would have to be considered again by one of the council's scrutiny committees and 5,000 signatures would force a full council debate.

The petition has been set up by independent councillor Andrew Wallis and Mebyon Kernow councillor Andrew Long who proposed and seconded, respectively, the original motion at last week's council meeting.

Related content

It has also been supported by Councillors Jude Robinson (Labour), Geoff Brown (Lib Dem) and Graham Walker (Ind) – all three of whom supported the original motion.

Mr Wallis said: "We need to get as many signatures as possible to show the true feelings of the people of Cornwall.

"If we don't get the signatures we need it weakens our case to try and stop these proposals becoming reality.

"We need public support to show the Cabinet what the people of Cornwall want. Of course, on the flipside, if we don't get many signatures it will show that people are not bothered or that they do want to have council services handed over to a private firm."

He added: "These are our core services which we could lose overall control over – services like council tax benefit, libraries and one stop shops, all services which I believe should remain in-house and under the control of the council.

"If this goes ahead we will lose that control and I don't believe that is in the interests of the people of Cornwall."

Mrs Robinson, who sat on the single issue panel which has had a number of in-depth meetings, discussions and penned a 26-page report on the project, said she was concerned about the level of detail behind the proposals. She said: "Alec Robertson said at the full council meeting that there was confidential information which many councillors hadn't seen which would have changed the debate which saw a majority vote against this project.

"Our panel has seen all that information and we held a lot of our meetings in private session and I can't think of a single thing which would have changed the direction of that debate and vote.

"He said that there was nothing new in the debate, but the questions being raised have not been answered.

"The idea that we can save 20 per cent in the first two years and then 5 per cent year on year is not backed up by any hard evidence – a child could see that that saving is not achievable."

The petition can be found here.

Hard copies are also available by contacting Mr Wallis at awallis@cornwall.gov.uk

Read more from West Briton

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters
  • ackedoff  |  September 27 2012, 6:27PM

    oh dear looks like the impetus is slowing, come on people the score is now nearly 4000 online signatures, lets keep this debate live and running

    |   1
  • Phil_lip  |  September 24 2012, 8:03PM

    BUMP: 3651, this is amazing that it keeps creeping up, is a shame that out of the 300,000ish people over 18 haven't all signed it (or those who are fed up with losing the democratic process and really want a change) and the final tally with the hard copies will be interesting but still a way to go on the online version yet. Keep mentioning it to people even if you sound like a broken record because apathy got us into this mess and it is only through getting just a spark back in people's lives about how important democracy is that we will get this right back to square one and then over-turned.

  • ackedoff  |  September 23 2012, 5:17PM

    RNASDutch (aka Mr Robertson possibly) won't reply because someone has possibly rumbled him in another thread desperately trying to defend Mr Robertsons (aka RNASDutch) stance. Still whoever RNASDutch is, he has received about as much support on here as Mr Robertson gets in the council with his waffle......very little! while we are on the subject of transferring services can I bring your attention to another project I've been made aware of, where parts of services provided by adult social care are being transferred to a non profit organisation called Peninsula Health. Again its being railroaded through with employees concerns about job losses, changes of conditions etc being ignored or avoided by key council players. Questions such as how can a non profit making company make this venture work within the same financial constraints as the council without job losses or reductions in services appear to have been glossed over. A little research reveals that the deputy CE of the council is a non executive director of PH and the main player in getting the project through has, allegedly, already secured a senior position in the new company. Jobs for the boys? Conflict of interest?? Either way there seems to have been little consultation with the people of Cornwall about a major change to the way care is provided to many of our loved ones. Another case of those at the top floor of county hall doing just what they want to do regardless

    |   3
  • Phil_lip  |  September 23 2012, 6:02AM

    3496 at time of this post, in case it gets lost in all the ranting, here is the link to the petition again http://tinyurl.com/d93voj2 I am still waiting for RNASDutch to reply to my question about his taxes, obviously blinkered and oblivious to what is happening in the western world, like in the US where many thousands are being made bankrupt and losing homes and the innevitable family break ups while the people in the banks and private companies that caused it serve no jail time and are still able to afford the food in their fridge. Spain, where people who work in civil jobs are being made homeless and are having to steal from supermarkets to feed their children. South Africa where over the last 18 months 200 people have been killed to get a reasonable wage (still only £300 a week though) to risk their lives to get precious (in the eye of the beholder I guess) metals out of the ground which is a highly specialised and high risk job. While all this is going on, corporations are still making immoral profits, the value of money is being eroded from under us and the human rights charter has been put through the shredder in some dingy back office.

    |   2
  • Phil_lip  |  September 20 2012, 3:43PM

    RNASDutch, you say you want your council tax to be spent wisely, I have a question for you, does that include your taxes?? Subsidies in the region of 150 million £ to the energy companies and oil/gas/coal importers Subsidies to the Rail companies totalling over 50 million £ and they still put prices up above inflation Subsidies to companies like Serco of over 200 million £ and they still make profits while degrading services year on year Bailing out the banks by borrowing from the world bank and international monetary fund, yet they still get subsidies to keep going and the total they pay back into the public purse does not include the interest. Hope you get the picture that corporations do pretty well out of national and local government and the rot that is in the system needs to be stopped because their profits increase year on year while our services get cut more and more to give the picture that our services are incompetent when the people working there are just like you and me working hard, paying taxes and getting screwed by having us shout at them when things go wrong, when it is the management, and middle management that need cropping and improving to get the services heading in the right direction again.

    |   4
  • ackedoff  |  September 20 2012, 7:13AM

    RNAS I think you should read my contribution on this debate as your nieve comments mirror those of that misguided loon Torypzman The only underemployed and overpaid council workers are those a the top table, don't tar the rest of them with the same brush. If you want your money spend effectivly then surely you wouldnt want it spent on a project that have been proven not to work elsewhere would you? By the way has your rubbish collection improved in Porthleven? How are the beaches? any cleaner since that contract went to sita?

    |   4
  • Phil_lip  |  September 19 2012, 9:56PM

    RNASDutch, if you really believe that privatisation of key services is the right way to go then I would suggest you search for TPP or the Trans Pacific-Partnership and see just how the UN charter for human rights is being eroded under our feet by corporate morons that claim a corporation has the same rights as a human being and because of that they can over-ride the UN human rights charter and no matter how you complain or to who, they can do what they like and there is nothing you can do to stop it, or any of us if it goes through. Privatising of key services even at backroom level is just the start to the next 5-10 years when democracy will be re-written and no human being on the planet will be able to stop inhumane treatment of anyone. I agree that things need to be done to curb the over-spending of what are effectively morons with no real qualifications or experience in local/national/inter-national matters and the human race will be whittled down to a small few because a corporation does not have to answer or take responsibility for anything it does. If you think this has anything to do with Wallis, yes he may have started the petition for whatever his motives are, but in the bigger picture he is nothing when you, I and everyone else are about to lose everything we think we own, or have a right to.

    |   3
  • RNASDutch  |  September 19 2012, 9:05PM

    Like every other Council taxpayer in Cornwall, I want my Council tax to be spent as effectively as possible. And if privatisation will save money, then thats the thing to do. I am afraid the3 days of overpayed and underemployed council workers has come to an end. I am also very su****iuos of the Porthleven Councillors motives. The proposal to privatise has been to Cabinet four times, starting in July 2011. There has been plenty of opportunity for Members to express their views within this time and within the democratic process that, to paraphrase the West Briton, has apparently died in Cornwall. Ignoring the decisions of Cabinet and the work of scrutiny, and then employing tactics such as the petition, look like a desperate attempt to jump on any passing popularist bandwagon. Especially as councillor wallace only got in with a small majority, and elections are due in a few months. His predecessor, Councillor Curnow, used to act with dignity and professionalism. I think this is a very selfish attempt to raise a profile of a councillor that has no real power, and is desperately jealous of the power more experienced independent councillors have in the cabinet system. And dont forget the cabinet system was introduced by the Lib Dems, and now they are moaning about it because they have no power. Sorry, I think councillor wallace protested too much, and porthleven is the poorer for it.

    |   -9
  • Niall_Curry  |  September 19 2012, 8:58PM

    2948 now. BTW, if anyone is interested there is a petition started by Unison to try to stop the outsourcing (aka. Privatisation) of key Police services in Devon and Cornwall including "services like community policing, crime investigation, forensics, 999 call handling, custody and detention and a wide range of other services." Link: https://http://tinyurl.com/9kzx6rl

    |   3
  • Phil_lip  |  September 19 2012, 7:41PM

    Just looking at the petition can click on the ... underneath the names and will clearly see it has to be the online version as collating paper sigs would take longer than it has been increasing. When I was doing my degree we would always collate paper forms and work after the fact and not during, would say it was the same with this as all degrees use the same principles when it comes to data collection and collation and that always filters into places like the council. That being said, if everyone keeps plugging away getting people to sign the online version till it reaches 5k or more then if it does include the paper figures (which I highly doubt) then will still make the total or more.