Report leak councillor stands firm

LEADING Liberal Democrat Andrew Cann today said he was proud to have leaked details of a controversial report recommending thousands of county jobs are privatised or transferred to the voluntary sector.

LEADING Liberal Democrat Andrew Cann today said he was proud to have leaked details of a controversial report recommending thousands of county jobs are privatised or transferred to the voluntary sector.

He was speaking after he came under fire from councillors for passing to The Evening Star a copy of a report from the KPMG accountancy firm which recommends reducing the number council employees from more than 11,000 to just 700.

During Thursday's full meeting of the council, members of the administration attacked Mr Cann, accusing him of worrying staff unnecessarily and claiming the report would have been published eventually.

Mr Cann said “I felt as if I was being told off by the headmaster when (council leader) Jeremy Pembroke had a go at me.

“But I am proud of releasing that document. If the council were planning to publish it anyway, why are they worried about the fact that it is now public?

“My suspicion is that they have only now gone public with it because I had made it public.”

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Mr Pembroke told the meeting that the report contained options and councillors would have to decide whether any of them were implemented.

Labour also hit out at the report. Group leader Julian Swainson said: “The Conservatives have spent the last two years running up of costs, wasting millions on their pet projects and cutting services.

“Now that the full effects of their financial incompetence are becoming obvious, their response is to be to shrug their shoulders, give up and privatise everything.”

N Was Mr Cann right to leak the report? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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