Public Services > Local Government

Cornwall leader's attitude to joint venture 'hardens'

Charlotte Jee Published 13 November 2012

Jim Currie e-mails councillors to set out where he stands on outsourcing plans

The cabinet leader of Cornwall Council, Jim Currie, has e-mailed all councillors to directly address rumours that since he took his post he has become more in favour of plans to outsource council services to a part-privatised joint venture.

In the e-mail, Currie claims that the "privatisation lobby" have been saying that he is now disposed more favourably towards the joint venture (JV). However, he warns that "this is not true".

He says, "I have made it clear to senior management that, whilst maintaining circumspection, my previous attitude to the JV has actually hardened.

"This situation is due to the relentless hard sell of the JV with no counter arguments. This is democratically unacceptable. Members have a right to all the evidence available and this has not been forthcoming."

The scheme has already cost one leader his position, with Currie replacing former leader Alec Robertson after he failed to win a confidence vote on 16 October 2012. Currie is understood to be less in favour of the JV than his predecessor, Robertson.

BT is the only company bidding for the contract after CSC pulled out on 17 October 2012.

A full session of all Cornwall councillors is due to sit on 11 December 2012. It is not yet clear whether they will be asked to vote on the joint venture. However, on 23 October 2013 councillors passed a motion to 'investigate fully, as a matter of urgency, all reasonable alternative methods of delivering the council services covered by the proposals for the said strategic partnership'.

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