Today it has been announced that Alec Robertson has signalled a possible u turn on Shared Services. Possible because Alec has changed his posture from one of, my mind won't be changed to it might be changed, now placing it in the hands of councillors to decide. Which appears to suggest that the motion to kick out the Joint Venture on Shared Services will be ignored and the issue will yet again be debated in full council. A clear indication that the embattled regime are still seeking to push ahead with the scheme and are willing to ignore the clear vote of councillors. Great work by everyone who signed the petition and got us to this stage but the fight must go on.
Last friday there was a meeting of the Conservative group on Cornwall Council and no doubt this was high on the agenda, especially considering the threat it poses to the beleaguered leader's position in the upcoming no confidence vote. I would imagine that the crux of that meeting was to ensure that Tory councillors ignore the popular petition signed by thousands of Cornwall's residents, the vote in full council and the examples of Somerset County Council's, Liverpool City Council among other failing partnership schemes and only listen to the leadership. There are also rumours that Conservative councillors face deselection in next years local elections if they continue to defy Alec Robertson and Kevin Laverys' privatisation scheme.
I have little doubt in my mind that all the Tories that want a future in the party, will line up behind their leader, support him in the no confidence vote and rail road through this Shared Services plan afterward. Party politics at it's worst with the individual councillors views and votes subordinated to the demands of the Conservative party. There are of course ways in which the council will not be able to force through Shared Services, first and foremost continuing to get people to sign the petition, link here and demonstrating the widespread anxiety about the over optimistic promises of the pro privatisation leadership. Of course putting pressure on Tory councillors to vote with their conscience and represent the people that they represent, this point remains true of all councillors. As I blogged before the Liberal Democrats despite being in opposition have mixed views on the subject. The Independents too need to think and act independently and not blindly follow the Conservative party into supporting this unpopular privatisation.
The fight for the right for Cornish public services from both the council and the health service to remain run by accountable public institutions for the benefit of the public not profit is not over. As we have seen recently with the pasty tax, the Conservatives are very adept at announcing a u turn thus quelling opposition and being able to carry on regardless, lets not be fooled again. Please sign and share the petition, again link here. Also write to your councillor find their details here.
Unless of course you want these kind of headlines for Cornwall and Cornish ratepayers to pay for their mistakes: