Friday, 24 September 2010

Suffolk County Council

Much is made on Conservative Home about the decision of Suffolk County Council to 'outsource' its services (pity not one of the links works!) At the time of writing all that seems available on the Suffolk County Council website is this page in 'News'.

No doubt Suffolk County Council will do as they say and 'consult' with all those who may be affected by their decision:
"Councillor Jeremy Pembroke, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “This decision was made with consideration to the financial deficit in the public sector and the Coalition Government’s priority to reduce the deficit and the size of the state.  The Coalition requires lesser government and a bigger society, and Suffolk County Council has responded to this change.” Councillor Pembroke continued: “Now that Full Council has debated the issue and agreed with the future model for the county council, we can begin to talk with the people of Suffolk so they can be involved in the shaping of services for the future.” Today’s decision now enables the leadership within the council to further explore different options for the future delivery of services, along with beginning discussions with those people in the county who will be affected."
Conservative Home writes:
"Services planned for outsourcing in the first wave are:
•    Transactional property
•    Registrars
•    Suffolk traded services
•    Employment enterprises, learning and careers advice
•    Libraries
•    Home First
•    A record office
•    Independent Living Centres
•    Highway Services
•    Country Parks
•    Economic Development
•    Youth clubs, and Integrated Youth Support and Outdoor Education
•    Early Years & Childcare, including Children’s Centres
•    Home Shield Plus
•    Hate Crime Service
Some Council services will be discontinued or will only be continued without subsidy. But  the main story will be of the Council continuing to ensure services are provided but not providing them itself. Outsourcing is well known but applying the policy in such a rigorrous systematic and flexible approach makes the Suffolk apporach of wider interest."
and then continues to list all the services that Suffolk County Council, in association with District Councils, that they provide.

But - I cannot seem to find any mention (unless I have missed it) that Suffolk County Council recognise their legal obligation to carry out an Impact Assessment with every group of society who may be affected by every service they wish to outsource.

It may be that mention is made of this in the links which do not work - but logic dictates that if the Conservatives cannot 'cakewalk' a general election - and gain a majority - that was handed to them on a plate, it is hardly likely that they can make a few links work!

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