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Deirdre Alden: Politicians with their heads in the sand

Deirdre Alden: Politicians with their heads in the sand

🕔10.Dec 2012
Curated from Deirdre Alden, written by Deirdre Alden

My Friday blog post about Labour’s Cabinet paper on wheelie bins which stated  that they would “explore whether a partner could deliver the service from 2014 onwards and implement the roll-out of the new services” caused some excitement. It was picked up by the Chamberlain Files website yesterday, and by Adrian Goldberg’s radio show this morning.

When he first spoke to me at about 8.30am, Adrian told me the Council Press Office had said that the idea Labour might privatise the refuse collection wasn’t true and basicially to go away and read the document in context. He said to me he HAD read it, and the document DID raise that prospect.

By 9.50am when I was intereviewed on his show, the Press Office had changed their tune somewhat and produced a statement talking about the need to save money etc. No spokesman from the ruling group had agreed to come on the show, Adrian explained.

In my original blog post, I wondered what the comrades (i.e. other Labour Councillors) thought about it. I wondered what the Unions thought about it, and I wondered what the workers thought about it.

Now I know the answer. Most of them did not know. I was followed on the radio by a leading Union rep who said they hadn’t known, then a dustman from Perry Barr phoned in and he hadn’t known, and the Chamberlain Files tweeted at the end of the morning that the Cabinet Member had sent a fire fighting email round to Labour Councillors this morning – so I am guessing maybe some of them didn’t know either and were demanding answers.

Of course Cllr Bore, Cllr McKay & I presume Cllr Stacey would have known, because the idea was in the bid the Labour administration submitted. (See 5.9 of today’s Cabinet report which says “The Final Bid proposed to explore further efficiency savings, knowledge and performance risk transfer by market testing waste services. A procurement process will be initiated to obtain private sector bids for the delivery of waste collection, trade waste and street cleansing services.”)

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