Very Thin Joint Venture is Supported (just)

I am sure a few of my readers are wondering if anything else has been going on at Cornwall Council apart from the Strategic Partnership. Well today, the entire council reached a decision…well sort of.

One thing is sure from the various options in today’s papers is the full BT outsourcing option (thick-JV) has been rejected by the majority of the council by 71 Councillors not in favour of thick-JV  and 30 in-favour of the deal. This now means the thick-JV will now not happen. I can say this as previous council motion of no deal to be signed unless the full council agrees, would safeguard against it being signed off. Though to be technically correct, Cabinet still make the final decision.

If you are still following me after I tried to explain the position, I shall press on with what happened next. But it was not the simplest process.

The next option to be decided was the in-house option. A vote was taken, and it was a close vote, with 46 in agreement with the in-house option (me included), but those against this option carried the day with 50 votes.

It was then over to the other options (I know I am trying to make it simple). The option 6c, as listed in the report is, in essence the strategic partnership (as previously defeated) but without Libraries and One Stop Shops being in the mix. This was defeated by the majority with a vote taken by a simple show of hands.

This leaves option 6e, which is a very thin-JV, almost wafer thin option. This carried the day by a majority. This option only includes tele-health, tele-care, ICT and document management. All other departments and services would stay in-house. However, this option might not go ahead. This is due to the health partners and BT who might decide this deal is not for them. That would mean by default everything would remain in-house.

Furthermore, to safeguard other services being added by the back door, any other services can only be included in any outsourcing deal if it has the support of the majority of the elected council, and detailed market testing is carried out. That would stop the oops, how did that get added questions being asked later on. There is still a lot of detail which has to be sorted before any contract is awarded for this option. I hope the Single Issue Panel will continue its good work in highlighting any dangers this deal could include.

For those wondering how I voted after the in-house option was lost. I voted for 6e. As just voting against this after losing the in-house option would not have achieved anything. More so as the democratic majority did not support the in-house option.

14 comments

  • Gill Martin

    Excellent result.

  • A benefits assessor

    Congratulations, probably the best we could have hoped
    for.

  • ICT Technician

    So effectively just ICT and Tele-health (which I don’t
    think really exists yet) to be outsourced now. Which means they’ve
    kept in house everything that was in the original scope, (the bits
    that nobody wanted,) and just left in the sweeteners that were
    thrown in to attract bidders. Not so much throwing out the baby
    with the bath water as just throwing out the baby. Congratulations
    Cornwall Councillors. Astonishing. Nevertheless thanks for your
    stirling efforts Andrew. I’ve always felt proud and committed to
    work for the people of Cornwall. I shan’t feel that way working for
    BT.

  • A benefits assessor

    Mr Lavery still only talking about BT. No other
    alternatives to be looked at?

  • Andrew Wallis

    Thank you for your kind comments. I was surprised the in-house option did not carry the day, especially after so many Councillor’s voted against this. I am sorry, really am for people affected by this.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Unless BT walk away, or something is added, then no other companies will be looked at. I am not sure, BT, or the health sector will want this deal, therefore the default position is in-house.

  • worried worker 2

    Well done , victory to the people. Thanks Andrew for
    caring.

  • mick martyn

    it is hardy ‘wafer thin’ andrew – – over 300 staff most of
    ict, all of document management (post, print, scanning),
    telehealth/telecare, payroll, invoice processing – a sizeable
    several million pound contract compared to other partnerships
    across the country – i will watch developments with interest and
    hope the decision to keep other services in house wont mean that it
    takes even longer to get my benefit claim sorted (and that isnt a
    critisism of the excellent staff). fAIR PLAY TO YOU THOUGH FOR
    DRIVING FORWARD WITH WHAT YOU BELIEVED IN.

  • worried worker w

    Mick , it’s not what Andrew believes in but the staff who
    said no and the public who signed the epetion,, Andrew voted for
    in-house which is what the survey indicated, it seems to me you
    have your own agenda and a dislike for Andrew Wallis Who are you
    Mick do you work for the council or are you linked to Bt or a
    member of the public we are all entitled to our options without
    being personal. Worried worker 2

  • mick martyn

    of course we are all entitled to our opinions and i am
    expressing mine. i am a member of the public who frequently uses
    the services that were in scope – benefits, phones, library – i am
    worried for the future of them and treatement of people who need
    them like me if the council has to make the cuts they state. out of
    interest worried w, what dept do you work in?

  • worried worker

    Alas, I am one of those poor souls within IT and shall no
    doubt be reapplying for my job in the near future…again! Call
    Centres here we come.

  • worried worker

    Opps, sorry Mick, my post under yours makes it look like
    I’m replying to you, when I believe your question was directed at
    another “worried worker” (more than one of us worried about our
    jobs under JV, who’d have thought it?!) I’m glad most of you are
    happy with this result. I’m glad members can now hit the doorsteps
    in the run up for the locals and proudly state “we saved the
    libraries from privatisation!” I know ICT isn’t as pretty or
    beloved as libraries or One Stop Shops, but we’re forgetting they
    rely heavily on IT and Telecoms. I wonder what would happen to
    these cherished libraries if BT put up their IT support bill? BT is
    a for-profit organisation, it needs to make money somewhere…cut
    some IT staff here…put up an installation charge there…a member
    of staff at your One Stop Shop unable to help with your query as
    they’re on the phone for an additional 30 minutes to IT support
    because they have to join the queue with tele-health and BTs public
    phone support… Many thanks to Andrew though. I, and many, many
    others, been extremely impressed with all the hard work he’s put
    into fighting our corner.

  • ICT Technician

    There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip

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