Cornwall Council Leader does a U-turn on Shared Services

Wow, talk about starting Monday morning with a bang. I knew it was going to get interesting in and around County Hall, but this morning massive U-turn on the privatisation plan is quite a surprise. Though I hear it has come from not being able to guarantee his own groups full support on the 16th.

The announcement by the Leader on Radio Cornwall that if the majority of the Council are still against Shared Services on the 23rd, then it will be dropped. That is one hell of a U-turn. I am though disappointed the Leader announced this on live radio before informing Cornwall Councillors first. But good for Radio Cornwall for getting the scoop on this.

So what now? Is the offer from the Leader just a ruse to stay in power post the 16th? Is he hoping that he can then persuade enough Councillors to support the Shared Services proposals, and therefore still sell-off great swaths of the council to a private company? As the last time the council had a say, though it was then ignored, the council voted not to support shared services. So what has changed? Or has the Leader realised Councillors and the public do not support the idea of shared services.

The change of heart is at odds with one of the Leader’s messages on this subject on the 25th Sept:

In this case the Cabinet believes we have made the right decision. Nothing has been raised, either during the Council debate, or since, that alters that belief.

with no new information forthcoming on either why we shouldn’t progress with the plan to form a strategic partnership or a realistic alternative that enables the Council to preserve jobs and services is not a legally valid reason to alter a properly made Cabinet decision – even if we wanted to.

What has happened to change the Leaders mind? After all he said they made the “right decision” and could not change that decision “even if we wanted to”.

Furthermore, in today’s interview on Radio Cornwall, the Leader did say the U-turn was also because of the Petition. I welcome this because the public have spoken, and should be listen to. However, it raises questions on this statement by the Leader on the 17th September:

“and then employing tactics such as the petition, actually undermines democracy”

Is being in power and the baubles that come with the position more important? I am sure people will come to their own conclusions on this matter. As it does seem very strange with a no-confidence motion looming there is a sudden, nay massive, change of heart direction.

And it is only Monday!

 

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