Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Our City is Not For Sale - No to Privatisation

The LEFT Alternative fully supports Cardiff UNISON's campaign against the possible privatisation of council services, which could see rising prices for swimming pools, leisure centres, libraries, theatres and other services: Our city is not for sale, and we will resist the corporate takeover of Cardiff - by any means necessary.

Branch secretary, Mark Turner was quoted last month as saying in the South Wales Echo, privatisation would

"sever the link between democratically elected councillors and the management of the service and replace public control with the control of the market. In other cities in the UK where charitable trusts have been set up to run leisure centres, libraries, swimming pools and theatres they have had to increase ticket and entrance prices to keep afloat. Council services are about people. Inevitably people take second place to profit if the private sector or its methods were to be used in Cardiff.”

In May, when the LibDems and Plaid Cymru formed a coalition to run Cardiff Council they made a public commitment that there would be a "presumption against privatisation", yet in the public "consultation" one of the options being considered, as part of the shake-up of council services, is for the delivery of services to be moved out of the council’s direct control to arms-length organisations and charitable trusts. We urge the ruling parties to keep this pledge.

If you want to know what privatisation would mean in practice, Cardiff UNISON on their website give a glimpse of previous sell-outs:

"Car Parks controlled by Cardiff Council sold to private company

Council now powerless to stop massive price rises seen recently. Profits going into private hands instead of supporting rate payers.

University Hospital of Wales entered into long car park lease with private company

Now unable to comply with Welsh Office requirements to cut patient parking charges for many years. Profits going into private hands instead of supporting patient care.

Suicide victim left in garage for 5 hours

Due to Police now using private firm for FME that do not have manpower to act swiftly. Unlike previous system of using local doctors

Do we want this happening to council services ?
This could happen under the council's 'Partnership for Change'
This is likely to lead to job and service quality losses

Another Cardiff is possible!

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