Sell-off anger reaches conference floor

SUFFOLK: Anger over the proposed out-sourcing of services at Endeavour House reached the Labour Party conference when the Tory administration was described as “a circus act with no safety net”.

Former Suffolk County Council leader Bryony Rudkin told the conference about the county’s attempts to sell off – or divest – all its services leaving just a few hundred contract managers.

She said: “It is one huge experiment. The Conservative administration is behaving like a circus act with no safety net.

“There are no contingency plans if their brave new world goes wrong. No plan B to ensure that vulnerable people continue to get the services they need.”

She attacked what she saw as the complacency of Conservative councillors who were keen to involve the voluntary sector.

She said: “At the council meeting last Thursday, one Conservative said his village had come together to build a new doctor’s surgery.

“That might be fine in the nice comfortable villages but who’s going to come together to build the doctor’s surgery in my area of Ipswich where there are some quite serious deprivation issues?” She asked.

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But Jane Storey, deputy leader of the county council, accused the opposition of “putting their heads in the sand”.

She said: “We have a tough financial settlement coming and we have to do something about it.

“What we want to do is say to people, what do you want? It is about the right services for the right people and saying how can we go about this together.”

Earlier UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis had praised our coverage of the proposed changes at the county council for bringing the radical reform to public attention.

He said: “As one of the key ways people find out about things happening in their area, local papers like The Evening Star are really important to communities.

“And now more than ever, the people of Suffolk need to know the truth about the county council’s damaging plans.”

Are you concerned about the council changes? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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