Bromley - March to save our services

Services in bromley are under threat. private companies are preparing to take over all council services. care for vulnerable adults, libraries and parks services are under immediate threat.

These are our services – we have to act now to save them!

If you care about libraries, if you want to make sure vulnerable and disabled members of the community receive services, if you think that care levels and public services should not be based on profit but based instead on genuine need – then come to the march and send the clear message to bromley council:

Public services in Bromley are under immediate threat. Members of the Unite trade union are involved in a campaign of strike action in opposition to the Council privatising every service it legally can. But this campaign is not just about the trade union – it is also about the residents of Bromley. The Council has decided it no longer wishes to directly provide services. Instead, it wants to become what is called a “commissioning” borough. This means that services such as care for the vulnerable, children, the disabled, library services and parks will no longer be public services provided on the basis of need – but will instead be dependent on how much profit a private company can make. We think this is wrong. So do many people in Bromley.

The Council launched an appallingly flawed consultation exercise into its proposals for the Library Service. Scandalously, unless participants agreed that the service should either be handed to a private company or be run by unpaid volunteers replacing paid, professional staff, they were not allowed to complete the on-line consultation process. Unite therefore launched our own consultation exercise. We organised stalls across the borough and launched a genuine public debate. We had over a thousand responses – every response opposed the Councils plans.

Privatisation threatens the quality and quantity of public services, reduces accountability, threatens continuity and actually cots more money! The company taking over the remainder of the Parks service has already said that after the transfer, they will cut staff numbers – and the Council will pay the redundancy money for the private company. In a public statement opposing the Councils proposals, Bromley Labour Councillors have stated that private companies Capita and Liberata who have contracts in Bromley have missed numerous performance targets and are struggling to what they are contracted to do, that people have been evicted from their homes and forced to sleep on the streets because benefits have not been correctly processed and that roads and pathways are not being cleaned as they should be. They also state that one of the contractors in Bromley has been exploiting migrant labour.

Bromley Council has £300 million available to it in assets and reserves. Yet it chooses to make cuts and privatise services. The Council has admitted that it uses its money to engage in property speculation. We think that instead of playing at being property speculators, the Council should be doing what it is there for – providing public services. That is why we are marching today. Services do not have to be privatised. The Council, when consulting on the Library proposals, told the trade unions that if there is massive public opposition, they would think again. This has to be the case with every service. Let’s make sure they get the message.

March with us to save public services!

For further information, contact
onay.kasab@unitetheunion or call on 0771 818637.
Visit our campaign website

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