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.