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> Glasgow Parks Privatisation Plans, Council, unions and campaigners square up
GG
post 16th Mar 2010, 11:02pm
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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:
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"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:
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"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:
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"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:
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"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.

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Rob Rattray
post 17th Mar 2010, 01:59am
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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.


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*gruffy*
post 17th Mar 2010, 02:03am
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Was the council high when they conceived this? Oh wait, um yeah, probably....
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fronswa
post 17th Mar 2010, 03:14am
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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/
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**Harry Greenwood**
post 17th Mar 2010, 03:48am
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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.
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farci
post 17th Mar 2010, 06:01am
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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
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*Andrew Preston*
post 17th Mar 2010, 06:02am
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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

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weebren3
post 17th Mar 2010, 07:04am
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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
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*longbeach*
post 17th Mar 2010, 09:37am
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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.
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**Tommyboy**
post 17th Mar 2010, 10:08am
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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....
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*laz*
post 17th Mar 2010, 10:53am
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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.
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RonD
post 17th Mar 2010, 10:55am
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Next, they will be charging admission to the parks!


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TeeHeeHee
post 17th Mar 2010, 11:09am
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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.


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benny
post 17th Mar 2010, 11:10am
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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?


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TeeHeeHee
post 17th Mar 2010, 11:16am
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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?


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