Suffolk CC Leader
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".
Incredibly they even manage to get the link for the website wrong in the County Council papers, the site is at http://www.suffolkideascookbook.org.uk/.
Take a look, this seems to be the futue of local democracy and public services....