Is Cornwall Councils Joint Venture Now Dead?

After Cornwall Council gave a reluctant green light to the JV option BT-lite, it was the now the turn of the other partners in the venture to give their approval to the deal or say no. The other main partner in the venture, Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT) had not decided if it was in or out.

Well, the RCHT has decided post a Board meeting that took place on Thursday. I do not have the full reasons, but the RCHT has said no to the deal.

I am not sure where this leads the council’s BT-lite option after this decision, and if it is now sunk and un-salvageable. These answers will I am sure emerge in the coming days.


I am told legal advice to the RCHT that the reduced scope (option BT-lite) created by Cornwall Council contravenes EU procurement rules and value for money cannot be demonstrated with a single bidder

and here is an email from Kevin Lavery:

Dear Members

Last night (Thursday), the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) met to discuss their continued involvement in the Strategic Partnership. We have now been informed that the board has decided to withdraw from the Partnership.

We are obviously disappointed by this decision and now need to consider the implications with our other Health partners before deciding what course of action is to be taken.

RCHT have issued a statement announcing their decision within the last few minutes. I have been unable to speak to the Leader about this as he is attending a Governance meeting but wanted to ensure that you had the information as quickly as possible.
Best wishes,


  • Another worried worker

    But is it really now a ‘BT-lite’ option, Andrew? Many of the services that should now be NOT in scope seem to be still included as ‘parked’ services, that can be re-introduced whenever the Chief Exec sees fit. So some of the more high profile services that were removed after your vote could, and apparently WILL, be back in scope in a little as 12-18 months! It doesn’t bode well for the (already low) morale of staff. Here’s hoping the whole thing IS now sunk and unsalvageable.

  • A benefits assessor

    It’s not pinin,’ it’s passed on! This JV is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late JV! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolical processes are of interest only to historians! It’s hopped the twig! It’s shuffled off this mortal coil! It’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This…. is an EX-JV!


  • Another worried worker

    To ‘A benefits assessor’ – thank you so much for that!! You’ve given the office a much-needed laugh!! 🙂

  • worried worker

    “EU procurement rules and value for money cannot be demonstrated with a single bidder”

    YEEEEHA!!!!!!!!!! SO LONG SUCKERS!!!! 😀

  • worried worker

    (I’m referring to BT, just to clarify…..well, BT and dear ole Lavers as they’re both OUT!!!!!)

  • Beware the Ides of Somerset

    I always wondered how a tender with a preferred bidder BT could continue when the change to the “fat JV” was an 85% reduction of scope to teh “thin JV” and then not be forced to re-tender within EU rules.

    If the RCHT has legal advice that it is either potentially “ultra vires” and/or open to challenge to proceed with a radically different option (thin JV) with just BT left standing, then what legal advice has Cornwall County Council taken & will that legal advice be published?

    What is the professional opinion of the Monitoring Officer/County Solicitor on behalf of taxpayers? Shoudl someone ask him formally & publicly at the next Full Council meeting??

    Lavery is off to New Zealand where the National emblem is a Kiwi – A bird that cannot fly. Lavery’s grandiose fat JV couldn’t fly and now the thin JV is looking like another flightless bird – the Dodo!

    Time to stop….the £2m spent to date is nothing compared to the potential cost of setup & likely subsequent failure (85% likelihood to date).

    After legals to contract signing, Somerset County Council had spent £4m on tendering for IBM to form Southwest One. If you asked now if they wish they had quit and been accused of wasting that £4m, they would swap that in a heartbeat for the current situation, where over 5 years in, the costs exceed savings by circa £50m.

    There is a High Court legal case scheduled for November (over losing the original unitary charge discount – £2m per year) and another £10m to end of contract in 2017 is at stake in addition to the £50m already lost.

    Cornwall: Walk away now and consider the £2m write off for tender costs as getting off lightly compared to: Bucks, Beds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Somerset!

  • worried worker

    The BT roadshows rumble on; roll up, roll up, broadband for a pound, you’ll be TUPE’d for a few weeks, 100% BT owned, Critch smiling at the back, daydreaming about upgrading his porsche now that he’s thrown his hat into the CEO ring, the horror, the horror!

  • ICT Technician

    It’s a done deal. The members couldn’t stop it even if they wanted to.

Please feel free to leave a comment to the post, as I like to hear your views! However, comments that do not meet the rules of the site (found in Blog Disclaimer) will not be published. Furthermore, all comment need to be approved by admin before publication.