Local Services? Sorry no, but we do have a cook book say Suffolk County Council

Jeremy Pembroke
Suffolk CC Leader
A week or so ago the EADT (East Anglia Daily Times for non-locals!) reported that Suffolk CC intended to get rid of most of its staff and effectively outsource most of its services, see EADT Article

Concerened by this and its effect (especially on schools) I wrote to Jermey Pembroke, Leader of Suffolk County Council for some clarification. Maybe the whole thing was a mis-understanding after a generous lunch with EADT journalists?

What I received back however was even more alarming in many respects. Jermey tried to reassure me that Suffolk don't simply plan to outsource. What they actually plan is to stop providing these services all together.
We are certainly not planning simply to outsource our services.  There may be some instances, when we need to retain an element of control, where a contract will be needed.  But this is not the main intention.
The essence of the New Strategic Direction is about a whole new approach to service provision.  We want to build the capacity in our communities to provide services locally, possibly through the town and parish councils, community groups or volunteers.  We will also be working with the voluntary sector to see where they can take over the running of services.  There are many things they already do and they are up for the challenge of doing more.

Yesterday The Guardian picked up on the story but again reported a major outsourcing but if Jermey Pembroke is right then this isn't the half of it.

Suffolk CC meet to discuss this today and on their website you can read the papers for the meeting here  about their "new strategic direction".

So what is the big idea to implement this huge change in service delivery? Well a cookbook. No you heard me right, Suffolk County Council have produced a cookbook. This is basically a website with ideas and "stories" about how people have got together to provide local services.

Incredibly they even manage to get the link for the website wrong in the County Council papers, the site is at

Take a look, this seems to be the futue of local democracy and public services....

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