CEREDIGION People’s Assembly (CPA) welcomed the decision by Ceredigion County Council on Tuesday (Jun 28) to shelve plans to privatise refuse collection and other services.
A CPA call-out to members who attended the Cabinet Meeting in the Aberaeron Council Offices noted that the proposal for privatisation came from the professional services firm PwC. CPA contended that outsourcing refuse services would mean job losses, degraded working conditions for staff, and a loss of public control. The callout directed members to ‘Meet outside the offices at 9.30am to remind the councillors that we think the proposal is rubbish!’
Several members of CPA did attend the Council meeting, where the Cabinet voted on the ‘Re-Design of Technical Services’. This included a vote on whether to ‘externalise delivery’ of refuse collection, street lighting, fleet maintenance and parking services. Altogether, the cabinet agreed not to proceed with the externalisation of refuse collection, transport and fleet management, and parking services. Rather, the decision taken was to look towards making substantial savings in those service areas rather than go ahead with privatisation.
Councillor Alun Williams, who led the discussion on Tuesday, told the Herald: “I’m very pleased that the Cabinet has agreed not to go ahead with the externalisation of services. It was not wrong to consider all options in the light of the huge financial cuts we face from central government, which have amounted so far to £34 million over three years. However, we will now be seeking to find the latest savings needed by working innovatively within the departments affected and retaining their staff within the council wherever possible.”