The Socialist 24 October 2012
Defend the NHS
Privatisation opponents push out Cornwall council leader
A local government worker, Cornwall
On 16 October, the Tory leader of Cornwall council, Alec Robertson, lost a vote of confidence by 63 to 49.
The vote took place after the cabinet went against the full council by going ahead with a "JV" (joint venture - ie privatisation) called the "Strategic Partnership for Shared Services".
This privatisation would affect key services and has been termed a £300 million sell-off. A petition signed by 5,000 people forced the debate in the council chamber, which is run by a Tory-Independent coalition, with Lib Dems in opposition.
Local and national media have reported that privatisation plans are now scrapped, and that secondly, the Lib Dems are the saviours of key services.
In reality, the cabinet decision to privatise service delivery still remains. A council debate is due on 23 October, as we go to press.
The new Tory council leader, Jim Currie - originally a sceptic of "JV" - has said that privatisation has not been wiped from the agenda.
However, one company involved in the privatisation plan has now pulled out. A long-term decision on the scheme might be delayed until after council elections in May.
The glory-seeking from Lib Dems on the matter is a bit rich. The petition against privatisation, which then forced the no confidence vote, was headed by an Independent councillor.
The protests and public awareness leg-work was carried out by Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance, a broad group encompassing trade unions, students, socialists and community campaigners.
Meanwhile, the local Lib Dem group leader openly hails 'other' public-private partnerships as a success, while nationally the party is ploughing ahead with privatisation plans in everything from the NHS to primary and secondary education.
This again shows that we need anti-cuts, anti-privatisation election candidates that put public services before private profit.
Chesterfield Socialist Party:
Lessons of Clay Cross council defiance
Friday 9 November - 7pm
Clay Cross Social Centre, Market Street, Clay Cross, near Chesterfield.
40 years since Clay Cross council defied the Tory government, this meeting will discuss the lessons for the battle against cuts today.
Speakers: A former Clay Cross councillor; Alex Gordon, RMT president; Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary; Becci Heagney, Youth Fight for Jobs
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