Cornwall Council puts outsourcing move on hold after landslide vote

Cornwall Council has frozen a plan to outsource public services after a near-unanimous vote to suspend the authority's outsourcing programme

Cornwall council has frozen plans to outsource services after almost every councillor voted in favour of a motion to suspend the authority's outsourcing programme.

A total of 93 members of the council voted in favour of the motion to postpone a decision until the full council had debated it. Seven abstained and nobody voted against.

Cornwall Council’s cabinet had proposed a deal with either CSC or BT to outsource libraries, benefits, payroll and IT services.

But councillors were unhappy with plans to push the decision through cabinet rather than full council.

Speaking to Computer Weekly earlier this month, councillor Rob Nolan said that, although he is not a proponent of shared services, it is the fact that such a fundamental change was not being decided by full council that was in contention. 

The outsourcing controversy led to Cornwall Council axing council leader Alec Robertson after he lost a vote of confidence. Robertson was replaced by his former deputy, who had already resigned over the outsourcing issue.

Meanwhile councillor Andrew Wallis set up an online petition to attempt to have the issue debated at full council. It exceeded the 5,000 signatures required to push through a re-examination of the proposal. This led to today’s debate and the motion carried to put outsourcing plans on hold, pending further investigation.

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