New Strategic Direction unstoppable

2 Dec

Older readers may remember the days of Andrea Hill (Chief Exec.) and Jeremy Pembroke (Tory Leader of SCC) when something called the New Strategic Direction was invented to savagely cut staff numbers, ‘outsource’ (privatise) services and for SCC become an ‘enabling authority’ with just a few officers left at Endeavour House. Perhaps to turn the remainder of the building into a hothouse for tomato-growing.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t just a bad dream, The New Strategic Direction is steaming ahead, despite what we are told by Judy Terry and Mark Bee and others. In April 2010 Suffolk County Council employed 10,800 people to provide services to the public, paid for by local and national taxation. By April 2013, we hear that 4,600 staff will be employed by SCC. That’s a 60% cut in three years.

The Tory majority in SCC are not content with this and will aim to become an ‘enabling authority’ with no services to the public directly provided. One has to question how much control SCC will have over the private companies who win the lucrative contracts.

We watch with trepidation the IPS attempt to provide a public library service in Suffolk with only two-thirds of the budget in 2010/11.

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2 Responses to “New Strategic Direction unstoppable”

  1. Ben Lee December 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    It is a shame in my view that the authors of this blog are happy simply to “watch” the Suffolk IPS with trepidation. The IPS staff and board have an unenviable task – but if more people showed their support in words (or even in actions), rather than simply standing by watching, impassively, they might stand a better chance of success.
    Those running the IPS have finally got themselves clear of the council’s internal trade-offs and back room deals of the kind you mention. They are finally able to focus exclusively on what’s best for libraries and openly fight their corner. Surely everyone should can put their shoulders fully behind that cause?

    • Rosehill Readers January 6, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

      We can’t really do better than direct you to our response to James Hargrave’s (former library campaigner, now working for the IPS apparently) comment to our post “Library staff hit out over changes” 17/10/2012.

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