Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Councils should run local services’

This is a persuasive argument.

Considering the pathetic performance of all the privatised utilities, that don’t offer value for money and do exist to make profit for their shareholders rather than to provide a service for the public, can anybody suggest otherwise?

Councils should be able to run utilities in their areas as part of moves to “roll back the tide” of privatisation, Jeremy Corbyn will say.

Privatisation of services has made them less accountable, the Labour leader will tell a conference in Nottingham.

He will say English councils should have similar powers to cities on the continent, where local authorities have control of water and energy services.

His comments come ahead of May’s local elections in England.

“Privatisation isn’t just about who runs a service, it’s about who services are accountable to,” he will say.

“It’s about who shares the rewards, about protecting the workforce and getting a good deal for local people who use the services.

“After a generation of forced privatisation and outsourcing of public services, the evidence has built up that handing services over to private companies routinely delivers poorer quality, higher cost, worse terms and conditions for the workforce, less transparency and less say for the public.

“We will give councils greater freedoms to roll back the tide of forced privatisation.

“It locks people out of decision-making, makes services less accountable, too often means a bad deal for taxpayers, a bad deal for communities and a bad deal for workers too.”

Source: Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Councils should run local services’ – BBC News

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18 thoughts on “Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Councils should run local services’

  1. Helen

    I think this is the only way forward to help the people of our country not the Tori way of only looking after themselves.

  2. mohandeer

    Theoretically it could work,, but would like to hear arguments for and against in order to take a stand in favour. There will e some downsides such as poorer councils being given less per capita, some would not fund arts councils and museums, others would introduce levies on in collecting or tolls for main thoroughfares in and out of a city. Could they instigate community clamp downs on littering or unsightly estates (where the poorest live). I’d want a complete and thorough picture before making a judgement. Could work, will it?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The discussion is about councils running utilities like water, electricity, gas etc – as I understood it, anyway. Reversing the privatisation of public services.
      Councils already fund (and are cutting funding to) arts, museums etc.

  3. Jim Round

    The problem here is that some local councils (mine included) can’t run a bath.
    The majority of residents just want their bins collected, and if they have children, hope they go to a good school (if the Latter still controls it)
    Remember what I said about the council cuts consultation?

  4. autismandate

    Councils are acting like wannabe banks with no accountability, hiving off money for their obscene reserves, consultancy buddies and fat salaries and well padded management tree structures, all the while the austerity cuts are being screwed down onto the poor and disabled.

  5. daijohn

    Our Tory dominated council willing handed over the running of services to the private sector – I can’t see them reversing the situation – Answer? – vote Labour

  6. shaun

    I think for most utilities and some local authorities this could work well and does not take that much to better the service provided by monopolistic private companies. It could form a package of options that local communities could select from. Also I suspect that applies to a lot of non-profit making charities too, but evidence of that is not going to make it into news stories in the present political ideological straight jacket.
    It’s good to see the word profit mentioned, I gather it’s banned word across newspapers and the BBC. I guess that’s because it is a weak point when comparisons are made between publically run services and those for profit. If all NHS services were to be run by for profit organisations there would be an instant 20 per cent extra cost. As this is what investors demand for providing the money to fund taking on the work and then for running the services. There is of course the truly massive salaries (not the £100,000s paid to NHS managers) and perks., pensions, paid to the executives, CEO and non-executives. I do not know what 20% of the NHS budget is but it’s safe guess that it’s a huge amount of money.
    shaunt

  7. bevchat

    Well hmm we have a Tory council here so not so sure. they are quite incompetent to be honest…..In theory I think its a great idea…but does this not also depend on what money Central Government decides to give to Local Governments?

  8. Terry Davies

    arguments for removing franchises at the earliest opportunity.
    private companies
    lack respect for public.
    have poor attitude
    lack flexibility
    high turnover of staff thus no continuity in care sector.
    are driven by profit margins rather than towards high service standards.
    tend to provide working conditions which demoralise staff.
    are expensive after winning the initial franchise at a low bid.
    are not well regulated and hold less responsibility, for local authorities are subjected to the effects of government regulation. Private companies are only vicariously liable for any contravention of legislation pertaining to public sector services.
    private sector companies continue to receive taxpsyers money despite being sble to get business loans. Therefore overall, privatisation is not the best or cheapest option.

  9. NMac

    I suspect that the vast majority of people would agree wholeheartedly with what Jeremy Corbyn is proposing.

  10. Ros Curwood

    Am beginning to think that politicians like Jeremy Corbynn can only point out that given the chance they could help improve situations. Local councillors are elected, but Parish councillors are volunteers, and hold regular monthly meetings to discuss really local issues, but also are asked to input to larger district issues. Most of us, used to having information in our newspaper that we can read up on with a cup of coffee when we’ve got time, haven’t realised how much the press and media actually dont report (they dont lie exactly, but, like Mr. Blair, often mislead by omission). And we have become used to the idea that ‘they’ run things and we have to accept ‘their’ decisions. An example: in my locality we have discovered a continual slow erosion of services from our local hospital. Letters of complaint achieve nothing useful. The only way we can get any real information on what is proposed or have a say is through going to the local council meetings to find out and ask questions. I really think that someone from the community needs to get to their parish council meetings, they are usually very poorly attended (sometimes quite boring) and if we cant get there for work or family reasons, we need to find someone to go and report back. There is actually a huge amount that local people can do to make a difference, but if no-one goes to the bottom rung of the political ladder and listens to what is being done we cant effect change. People CAN challenge, for example, the terrible decision made by the district council on who is collecting the rubbish if we go to the parish council meeting and bring up the matters that annoy us. Our current government is taking the piss, putting it crudely, and ignores all the usual ways we try to make them accountable: dont asnwer or change the subject. Getting to the parish council meetings we are actually using the age-old opportunities that were put in place to allow people to be heard, and are enshrined in law. There are minutes of each meeting and at every next meeting the minutes of the last one are agreed, so people get to have a say then. Going to parish council meeting and reporting back only takes a few hours a month, could be at the pub or school gates, and we can begin to shift stuff from the ground up. I’m retired now, and am going to these meetings to find out about the changes to the maternity facilities in our hospital because the young parents cant do it. But in a community there are lots of elderly folk who have lots of experience and some time. If younger people or shift workers etc. cant go to meetings maybe the retired community might pick up the task and be more involved again…..just ideas, but grass roots movements really do make a difference, they were hard fought for in the far past, and now they are needed again if we are to stand up for ouselves against the very bad situation, democratically, that we are in. And grass-roots start at earth level. So yes we can.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Parish (/community) councillors are elected too – or should be. In reality, there are usually very few candidates – if any at all, meaning that many are co-opted by other councillors. But they ARE elected positions and are not voluntary.
      Also, opportunities for members of the public to speak at parish/community council meetings are very few. You’d have to raise an issue with your local councillor before the meeting, and then he could ask you to speak there, if you attend.
      However, the idea of going to these meetings in the first place, and then reporting back, is a good one.

  11. Stephen Mellor

    I love this.

    It’s a “persuasive argument” because you agree with it.

    In fact, it’s nothing more than an assertion without any evidence what so ever.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Of course it’s a persuasive argument because I agree with it.
      If it hadn’t persuaded me to agree, it wouldn’t be persuasive.
      Is English your second language, by any chance?

      1. Stephen Mellor

        To be a “persuasive argument”, first it has to have an argument. Big fat fail.

        In the absence of an argument, we cannot know if it is “persuasive.”

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        The argument is very strong, and is presented in the article for all to see.
        You really do have a problem understanding English, don’t you? Is it your second language? Really?

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