Suffolk Council Points The Way
The Tory-controlled county's "new strategic direction", set for approval tomorrow, could see virtually every service outsourced to social enterprises or companies. The aim is to turn the authority from one which provides public services itself, to an "enabling" council, which only commissions them.
At present, the council employs around 27,000 people, 15,000 of whom work in education, which is set to be taken away from local authority control as the government converts schools to academies and free schools. Many of the remaining 12,000 could face either redundancy or be transferred to a social enterprise or the private sector.
But unions warn thousands of jobs are at risk. "We are led to believe that the council could end up only employing 200 to 500 people at the end of this process", said Helen Muddock, branch secretary of the Suffolk branch of Unison. "We are talking about having a local authority where the only people employed directly will be dealing with contracts."
"Warn"? "raise hopes" I think is the correct phrase.