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Glasgow Boards/Forums _ Glasgow News Blog _ Glasgow Parks Privatisation Plans

Posted by: GG 16th Mar 2010, 11:02pm

Officials at Glasgow City Council have confirmed that they are to meet representatives of an English firm, Enterprise plc, to consider whether to hand over the running of the city's parks to a private company. If the talks – to be held this week – are successful, it would be the first time that the running of core city services is handed over to the private sector.

The privatisation plans would also include related services such as: refuse collection, road maintenance and cleansing, services currently maintained by the council's 4,000 Land and Environmental Services (LES) staff. LES workers have recently faced a radical overhaul to their conditions of service, with the introduction of highly unpopular four-days-on / four-days-off shifts.

The council claims that the privatisation plans will help offset the loss of skills represented by the departure of up to 4,000 staff who have opted to leave the Labour-run council after accepting voluntary redundancy packages. Campaigners and unions believe that any move towards privatisation will mean a reduction in the quality of service provision across the city.

Mike Kirby of Unison said:

QUOTE
"If the fear is that by letting people go you will not have the expertise then the solution would be not to allow them to go. To do otherwise is to run the service down, positioning it for externalisation. Rather than fearing this, or looking at options for that, it would be a simple matter of better workforce planning.

Where similar arrangements have been established in some areas of England there is clear evidence that the standard of service has been adversely affected."

Martin Doran of the GMB union added:
QUOTE
"It would appear these new working conditions introduced for LES in the last few months are designed to fail and then provide an excuse for outsourcing. Also interesting that we're talking 2013, a year before the Commonwealth Games, another excuse for an alternative provider to be in place."

David Howat, of the Friends of Glasgow West, expressed similar concerns when he said:
QUOTE
"I do not think that this service could be delivered by an outside agency at a significantly lower cost without a considerable lowering of standards."

A council spokesman insisted:
QUOTE
"We regularly review operations to ensure they are effective and efficient. In that context LES is starting the process of examining how others handle the balance between in-house provision and the use of contractors and existing arms-length agencies. Officers are at a very early stage of that and proposals will come in due course."

In recent years Glasgow parks' campaigners have been successful in resisting council efforts to base commercial ventures in the city's parks, notably halting the building of a nightclub in the Botanic Gardens, and stopping the construction of a Go Ape aerial playground in Pollok Park.


GG.

Posted by: Rob Rattray 17th Mar 2010, 01:59am

Is the council that lily-livered not to look after their own backyard? If so, then Glasgow is NOT what I believed it to be and the Commonwealth Games have erred in the staging of the event in bonnie Glasgow in 2014. Pull yer troosers up and show 'em ye can do it without outside assistance or privatisation for if the latter does enter the ring, I will be feeling for ye.

Posted by: gruffy 17th Mar 2010, 02:03am

Was the council high when they conceived this? Oh wait, um yeah, probably....

Posted by: fronswa 17th Mar 2010, 03:14am

For F*** Sake!

Is there nothing that these plebs won't sell off, and pass out "to arms length" companies?

What a shower of sh!tes!

http://www.glasgowlost.org/

Posted by: *Harry Greenwood* 17th Mar 2010, 03:48am

Before commencing with my remarks her, I voted NO and then was delighted to read in the results that nobody voted yes. As writers to this page know, from my past posts, I am a Canadian citizen, albeit Glasgow born eighty-five years ago and a frequent visitor, still with a great love for the place. I grew up in an area wher our local park was Rouken Glen and I believe that I can still take you on a tour of the park and show you where all the "bodies are buried", to use a cloche', and show you where I learned to handle oars on the boating lake, wher the Black Walnut tree still stands, where we as boys used the walnuts to darken our skin as we played cowboys and Indians, and wher wher I swung my first golf-club at nearby Deaconsbank. If any of the City Coincil can reminisce of there local Park experiences then they give serious thought to destroying a cultural commodity which helped to build the character of its youth and deliver them to preserve a heritage. That is why there is a predominance of NO VOTES. Glasgow means a Green Place and Glaswegians have taken pride in their parks, museums, art galleries and Libraries and maintain high standards of literacy as a result. There are no private parks in Vancouver which hosts one of the largest parks in the world, Stanley Park; there are no private parks in New York with its huge acreage of Central Park and there are no private parks in any city in North America where I have visited. The worst of the Britain came with privateization, Railways are the most expensive in Europe, Utilities are priced beyond reason since privateization. Beware, for once a public place is vandalized to suit private interests it immediately loses character, and clentel and then failure and then comes the real intent of the privateer, development. When that happens we have concrete jungles replacing turfed happiness.

Posted by: farci 17th Mar 2010, 06:01am

About two years ago Audit Scotland warned that Glasgow City Council did not have the necessary expertise amongst councillors and officials to control so-called 'Arms Length Companies' and urged that this be urgently addressed before any more were set up, just as is being proposed with LES.

A Facebook group 'Keep Glasgow's Parks and Services Public - No To Privatisation' has already attracted nearly 700 members in less than a week. Join and show your support

Posted by: Andrew Preston 17th Mar 2010, 06:02am

I rather thought that the lessons of privatisations had been learned long ago. That they do fairly quickly lead to a drop in the quality of services. And then at some point there is an outcry about that . And then the outside company says... "We're operating within the contract, if you want more then you'll have to pay for it".

This seems to be an evasion of responsibilities by the council


Posted by: weebren3 17th Mar 2010, 07:04am

This would be A disaster,keep the scots poor again,as in years gone by days to even think of handing everything in england. They really want the control of our country again.I say stand up for our rights of who is in control,keep the people working let glasgow flourish again,don't let them rule,I mean the idiots who have great perks that sit in #10 downing street and the rest of that bunch wont hurt for retirement pensions,or there family wont starve . so come on what is the council thinking.I am so angry,they would even consider having A meeting to let them decide for us,we are the people in 2010 this is our country.So come on,let them know by showing them they tried this control before,and no nay never again get scotlands flag fly high in protest.Sorry but I cant let my head wrap around the the thought. Rule Britain,well take there rules else were. mad.gif

Posted by: longbeach 17th Mar 2010, 09:37am

I am in part agreement with the remarks coming from weebren,we as a nation used to be the envy of the world as far as workers,shipbuilders. I dont like the idea that any council or any elected body seem to think they and they alone have the power to give away to others what belongs to us. After all the money that has been spent using a german work base to lay the tram system in edinburgh, they are now saying that this company have said now that it will take longer to build the tram system at a cost of extra amount of millions, the council said if the german work based cant stick to their deal they will throw them out of the project and get another contractor in. My thoughts are have we no people in our own country that can do this job. Scotland and her children have built tramways before, I used to travel on them in the fifties and part of the sixties. Its the same with Glasgow another council mob that cant do the job they were elected to do. Now they want to turn the running of a great city into to the hands of another body outwith Scotland and Glasgow when will we waken up and see that we can do anything we are up to looking after our own problems, if the people that are elected to look after the city do the job right and stop passing the buck.

Posted by: *Tommyboy* 17th Mar 2010, 10:08am

Once again we see the corporate world creeping into every aspect of our lifes in the pursuit of making money, make no mistake these people are interested in only one thing making money !!!. This will mean that shareholders will be getting there share of your council tax, so money that should have been earmarked for services, but will go into the pockets of the very rich.

Once again it demonstrates how pathatic the our city council are, there is no way these people can provide a better service, more and more of the money has to go too profits and shareholders as the years progress. Does the city council think we are so stupid to believe they can do a better job, I wonder how many backhanders will be given to lubricate this little beauty through, and once again the silent apathetic majority will do nothing. Guys you need to wake up !!!! We're getting less and less and the corporate world is getting more and more....

Posted by: laz 17th Mar 2010, 10:53am

What a JOKE .People will loss their jobs or they will get pay cuts.Glasgow City Council are getting worst and why does it have to be an English company.

Posted by: RonD 17th Mar 2010, 10:55am

Next, they will be charging admission to the parks!

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 17th Mar 2010, 11:09am

QUOTE (gruffy @ 17th Mar 2010, 03:20am) *
Was the council high when they conceived this? Oh wait, um yeah, probably....


And on the same probability some self-interested person or group, might just as easily be lining their own nest or pockets.

Posted by: benny 17th Mar 2010, 11:10am

QUOTE (GG @ 16th Mar 2010, 11:19pm) *
. . . .The council claims that the privatisation plans will help offset the loss of skills represented by the departure of up to 4,000 staff who have opted to leave the Labour-run council after accepting voluntary redundancy packages. Campaigners and unions believe that any move towards privatisation will mean a reduction in the quality of service provision across the city. . . .

Wouldn't it have been simpler to retain the "up to 4,000" skilled staff by not imposing a change of working conditions on them that they didn't want, so avoiding the need for their replacement by a private company?

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 17th Mar 2010, 11:16am

QUOTE (benny @ 17th Mar 2010, 12:27pm) *
Wouldn't it have been simpler to retain the "up to 4,000" skilled staff by not imposing a change of working conditions on them that they didn't want, so avoiding the need for their replacement by a private company?

Wasn't that the general purpose?

Posted by: benny 17th Mar 2010, 11:22am

You mean there's skulduggery, chicanery and jiggery-pokery going on within Glasgow District Council? Ah wid never hiv believed it! ohmy.gif

Posted by: Rabbie 17th Mar 2010, 11:33am

No no, it's time to kick up a rammy, as this idea is revolting. These lovely places should stay firmly in public ownership, there is no reason otherwise other than some planks making a fast buck.

Wits left of our fast dwindling heritage is being palmed of by a plethora of besuited, greedy wee nyaffs tae a shower of profiteering non entities who could not give a shyte for anything other than lining thurr pockets, whatever the cost to others. These bastages wid have nea qualms aboot skinning ye 10 for a wee saunter aroond Rouken Glen.

We have seen what privatisation of OUR natural resourses has done down the years; sky high resource prices, fat cats getting fatter, and "standards" plummeting.

Surely it is high time to pit the brakes on the greed and instant gratification culture that slowly crept into this country.

Posted by: stratson 17th Mar 2010, 11:38am

This is absolutely preposterous. I am sick to death of the Glasgow District Council.

Are they trying to knock Glasgow off the map.?

We are losing our identity, Obviously a ploy to satisfy personal greed.

They know they are all going to be out of jobs soon, sooner the better. mad.gif


Posted by: TeeHeeHee 17th Mar 2010, 11:55am

QUOTE (stratson @ 17th Mar 2010, 12:55pm) *
This is absolutely preposterous. I am sick to death of the Glasgow District Council.

Are they trying to knock Glasgow off the map.?

We are losing our identity, Obviously a ploy to satisfy personal greed.

They know they are all going to be out of jobs soon, sooner the better. mad.gif

On the other hand they might know that they are secure in their jobs and can, without fear, take (financial and social) advantage of their positions as has done in recent instances of note.
Would you exploit your position if you knew it would jeopardise your job or social standing?

Posted by: stratson 17th Mar 2010, 12:02pm

QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 17th Mar 2010, 12:12pm) *
On the other hand they might know that they are secure in their jobs and can, without fear, take (financial and social) advantage of their positions as has done in recent instances of note.
Would you exploit your position if you knew it would jeopardise your job or social standing?

Personally I would not exploit anyone or anything, however there are those who would and do.

Do you think their jobs are secure? huh.gif

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 17th Mar 2010, 12:23pm

QUOTE (stratson @ 17th Mar 2010, 01:19pm) *
Do you think their jobs are secure? huh.gif

I think that they think so.
Otherwise how could they continue to act as they do?
Have they no fear of voter retribution?

Posted by: norrie123 17th Mar 2010, 04:06pm

If this plan goes ahead, would the citizens of Glasgow get a reduction in the commuinity charge?
Thought not biggrin.gif
Struggling councils, can some of this be traced back to the Community charge being frozen for the past couple of years.
What will the coucillors be looking after, housing is run by GHA, Parks etc possibly by this English company, is there much left?
Bye for now, norrie

Posted by: Heather 17th Mar 2010, 04:39pm

Aye Norrie we are left for the moment. But maybe we are next to be sold off for cheap labour. sad.gif

Pensioners for sale, buy two, get a third one free. laugh.gif

Posted by: *george brown* 17th Mar 2010, 04:49pm

Are we seeing the formation of highland clearances, round 2? An English based company to take over refuse collections and park admin?

We have shopping malls in the city centre and periphal areas.

Not Scots run - need I add more?

Posted by: stratson 17th Mar 2010, 05:38pm

QUOTE (Heather @ 17th Mar 2010, 04:56pm) *
Aye Norrie we are left for the moment. But maybe we are next to be sold off for cheap labour.

Pensioners for sale, buy two, get a third one free. laugh.gif

Think a few of us widnae be accepted as a B.O.G.O.F. Heather. Mibbe we will aw get flown tae Switzerland. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: weebren3 17th Mar 2010, 05:56pm

QUOTE (Rabbie @ 17th Mar 2010, 11:50am) *
No no, it's time to kick up a rammy, as this idea is revolting. These lovely places should stay firmly in public ownership, there is no reason otherwise other than some planks making a fast buck.

Wits left of our fast dwindling heritage is being palmed of by a plethora of besuited, greedy wee nyaffs tae a shower of profiteering non entities who could not give a shyte for anything other than lining thurr pockets, whatever the cost to others. These bastages wid have nea qualms aboot skinning ye 10 for a wee saunter aroond Rouken Glen.

We have seen what privatisation of OUR natural resourses has done down the years; sky high resource prices, fat cats getting fatter, and "standards" plummeting.

Surely it is high time to pit the brakes on the greed and instant gratification culture that slowly crept into this country.


Posted by: wee davy 17th Mar 2010, 06:47pm

QUOTE
Beware, for once a public place is vandalized to suit private interests it immediately loses character, and clentel and then failure and then comes the real intent of the privateer, development. When that happens we have concrete jungles replacing turfed happiness

Oor visitor tae the boards Harry Greenwood hit the nail right oan the heid, wi' this wan!

Letting private enterprise in 'through the backdoor' is the slippery slope to disaster for 'Glasgows Pride'. These people whom you have in 'control' there at the minute, need investigating thoroughly. I smell more than one or two rats.

Posted by: Guest 17th Mar 2010, 08:12pm

Yes, of course, we can have our parks run and administered by Glasgow City Council as the employer. We can have Glasgow City Council run cleansing services and we can even have our cleansing workers and Land Services workers working a 40 hour, five day week.

All we have to do as council tax payers is foot the bill.

Which whinging poster here knows what that will cost in terms of increased council tax and who among us wants to pay more council tax?

Posted by: Guest #2 17th Mar 2010, 10:15pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 17th Mar 2010, 08:29pm) *
Yes, of course, we can have our parks run and administered by Glasgow City Council as the employer. We can have Glasgow City Council run cleansing services and we can even have our cleansing workers and Land Services workers working a 40 hour, five day week.

All we have to do as council tax payers is foot the bill.

Which whinging poster here knows what that will cost in terms of increased council tax and who among us wants to pay more council tax?

Eh, back up there a bit bald eagle!

Our parks have been "run and administered" for decades by the local authority and - for the most part - that running and administration has been at least adequate, at times much more than adequate.

The problem in recent years has been two-fold: (1) a now (thankfully) departed publicity-seeking politician decided to get his mug in the papers by announcing that council tax would be frozen indefinitely, regardless of the awful consequences such thoughtless action would have on the provision of core services; (2) at about the same time a re-organized council 'executive' decision-making group went wild on its own deluded sense of self-importance and sanctioned vanity project after vanity project that the city does not need.... the combined cost to taxpayers of just two of these - the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Riverside Museum - will be at least 500 MILLION!!!

Now today we see core, front-line services being deliberately run into the ground just so that council members can stand in front of the electorate - like you are doing here Guest - and plead the case that there is 'no alternative' but to hive everything off to the greedy private sector, who will continue to run services even further into the ground.... and also extract a huge profit for greedy shareholders at the same time.

You see Guest, running a council is actually quite simple.... (1) put people in charge who actually know what they are doing and (2) don't pursue costly vanity projects at the expense of core service provision.

Simple when you think about it.... it's just a shame that those in power these days apparently have little capacity/inclination in the thinking department!!!

I voted NO by the way! smile.gif

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 17th Mar 2010, 11:05pm

QUOTE (Guest #2 @ 17th Mar 2010, 11:32pm) *
.... it's just a shame that those in power these days apparently have little capacity/inclination in the thinking department!!!

Too occupied with their private vanity projects, incorporating mirrors ... and nose candy.
Glaswegians might like to lay claim that they didn't come up the Clyde in a banana boat but they're apparently being sold down that same river.




Posted by: Heather 17th Mar 2010, 11:07pm

My God someone who actually speaks sense.

Hey Guest 2, if your standing for the Council I'll vote for you. smile.gif

Aye well Stratson, I'll see you in Switzerland. wink.gif

Posted by: Greumach 18th Mar 2010, 12:28am

As with all the other PC nonscence that comes from Labour politicians, there must have been one single person who first mooted the idea. Find out who that was and name and shame them! I bet they will have a link to some English 'arms length' company! I wonder how many of these councilors really care about Glasgow and where it is going?

Posted by: Guest 18th Mar 2010, 05:07am

QUOTE
You see Guest, running a council is actually quite simple....

Well, Guest 2, running a council might well be simple; running a city and its services is rather more complicated.

Posted by: weebren3 18th Mar 2010, 05:15am

QUOTE (RonD @ 17th Mar 2010, 11:12am) *
Next, they will be charging admission to the parks!

Thanks Rond,I am glad we agree

Posted by: weebren3 18th Mar 2010, 05:22am

smile.gif thank you long beach you.did A good job yourself,nice story about you life while young. good for you.

Posted by: weebren3 18th Mar 2010, 05:26am

biggrin.gif Thanks rabbie, good quote had A laugh anyway,your quick wit. cheers

Posted by: Guest 19th Mar 2010, 07:32am

Any firm that came in at this moment in time might do a better job than GCC especially when it comes to 'neds' and 'big weans' jumping over the wall at Ruchazie and skipping on to Lethamhill Golf Course at the 9th hole.

Posted by: Margaret McDonald 19th Mar 2010, 10:28am

Hi

Am i reading right ... Cleaning Services to an English Firm are you off your Head ... what about all the Out of Work People that could do with a Job in Glasgow come off it ... Traiter.

Margaret McDonald.

Posted by: sumac 19th Mar 2010, 12:54pm

I'm speechless at this proposal!

Fronswa, can I just say, "Thanks" for the You-Tube link you posted. It's brilliant but heart-breaking at the same time.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 19th Mar 2010, 01:29pm

QUOTE (fronswa @ 17th Mar 2010, 04:31am) *
For F*** Sake!

Is there nothing that these plebs won't sell off, and pass out "to arms length" companies?

What a shower of sh!tes!

http://www.glasgowlost.org/

I've only just taken time to read this link. (sorry)
Shocking and scandalous are inadequate descriptions of this April Fool's day trick.

QUOTE
The Council's proposals ... clearly breach the 1887 Public Libraries Act which says that it is the duty of the local council to manage public libraries, museums and art galleries provided under the legislation.
Unison Spokesman

QUOTE
On April 1st, without any consultation with the public, Labour transferred your Cultural and Leisure services to an "Independent Trust". We will reverse that transfer.
LibDem Manifesto Pledge

I know here my vote would go if I had a vote in Glasgow.

Posted by: TX4 19th Mar 2010, 02:01pm

QUOTE (fronswa @ 17th Mar 2010, 03:31am) *
For F*** Sake!

Is there nothing that these plebs won't sell off, and pass out "to arms length" companies?

What a shower of sh!tes!

http://www.glasgowlost.org/

Well said fronswa, We have always been benevolent of previous City Fathers who have always provided liesure facilities to the Glasgow public at no cost whatsoever,

But this proposed sell off is an insult to all of our predecessors who have enjoyed the privilige afforded to them.

My one concern is however that GCC may plan to extend this sell off to all of its other liesure services and we may find that we will be paying a private company 5 a head to access the new multi million pound transport museum when it opens next year.

Posted by: weebren3 20th Mar 2010, 03:51am

ohmy.gif

QUOTE (weebren3 @ 18th Mar 2010, 05:43am) *
biggrin.gif Thanks rabbie, good quote had A laugh anyway,your quick wit. cheers


Posted by: weebren3 20th Mar 2010, 04:06am

Well one can call themselfs just A guest, why dont you make A comment that makes sense,that kind of lingo dont mean crap to A scots,I mean the real mCoy,regarding sell to anyone,did you work for the council? or is that A joke,no offence my neice was born in England,sounds like you talk like A moron,dont hide your name if you are scots,have some pride,stand up for your country there is people out of work,or do you work for Brown,and the rest of downing street.,bunch of clowns. dry.gif

Posted by: *catriona* 26th Mar 2010, 07:27pm

Hello people of Glasgow and the board i think you all have to think hard and long about privatisation as once they take over it is hard to remove them ans if you are not happy with their services you will have to contact the English firm and that will take time as the council is on your door step.

Look what happend to the railway when they privatiased that it is a disaster the goverment said it would be a better service and cheaper fares what a load of rubbish you just have to listen to the nes to know how bad it is i hope you have better luck .

Bye for now aw the best to all.

[teadbear] Catriona x.

Posted by: Madge 1st Apr 2010, 09:48pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 19th Mar 2010, 07:49am) *
Any firm that came in at this moment in time might do a better job than GCC especially when it comes to 'neds' and 'big weans' jumping over the wall at Ruchazie and skipping on to Lethamhill Golf Course at the 9th hole.

Hi Guest!!

Surely that is the very point - the Council should be doing a better job!! BUT they prefer the easy way out!

Posted by: wee davy 13th Nov 2010, 01:18pm

Any chance of an udate oan this wan, anybody?

wee davy

Posted by: GG 14th Nov 2010, 10:26pm

Hi Davy,

There has been no mention of this in the press since the initial story was covered by The Herald and the Evening Times. It could be that the scheme has fallen off the radar following the departure of disgraced former council leader Steven Purcell. It could also be that Enterprise plc is carrying out some kind of feasibility study into the project.

I'll see what I can find out; if anyone else knows, please update the topic.

GG.