Sunday, 15 February 2009

Sign the petition to stop Essex County Council sell-off

I reported recently how Essex County Council services are being privatised in a contract worth £5bn over eight years. The first that most people knew about this was when they read the tender advert in the EU Journal: that's right, there had been no consultation with councillors, residents or council employees.

Council union Unison has posted a protest petition on the 10 Downing Street website. Sign it here (text below).

Title of petition: Essex County Council Outsourcing

UNISON is deeply concerned that the current "Transformational Services and Delivery Support" procurement exercise by Essex County Council is in breach of European Procurement Regulations. UNISON is calling on Essex County Council to scrap the current exercise and open full discussions with the trade unions about the development of an in-house service improvement plan prior to any tendering process. This will help safeguard the future of staff and council services.

This unprecedented sale, which is worth over £5 billion over an eight year period, offers virtually any public service for sale. The legal consultation period was never adhered to or discussed with any County Council Committee, County Councillors or the Cabinet.

But most importantly, the Council has breached its statutory duty in failing to consult or inform local people whose interests it is supposed to serve.

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