UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Time for Labour Councillors to re-embrace Public Services

It is a sad indictment of Labour in local government that when Cameron attacks Labour Councils as wasteful and claims that Tory councils offer 'best value', the reaction from the left is 'how can you tell the difference?'

For too long Labour Councils have been allowed to abandon any principled commitment to public services. The former Labour local government Minister Hilary Armstrong's mantra of 'what matters is what works' has allowed Labour Councils the fig leaf of 'best value' to provide a cloak of respectability to outsource services under the guise of 'partnerships'.

Labour Councils, so devoid of a social conscience, have done the Tories work for them in undermining the fundamental successes of truly publically owned and operated public services. In outsourcing they have allowed hard fought for terms and conditions - decent living wages - to be sacrificed on the altar of private sector profit. From street sweepers to home carers the workers have paid the price for the lack of politics in so called Labour Councils.

It's time they brought real politics back to the elections and defend the public services that their predecessors were proud to set up and fight for.

Anna Rose