Tory-run Southampton City Council could adopt a complete privatisation of services, under plans to be discussed by councillors on November 16th. The changes would change the very nature of the council, and mean that the authority becomes primarily a commissioning body by as soon as 2015 – without public consultation. Indeed the privatisation blueprint itself – called the “Change Programme” – states that:
“By 2015, we expect to be primarily, a commissioning council.”
Additionally, the report says that outsourcing group Capita is to be invited to meetings of the council’s Leadership Group.
In recent months Unite and Unison members have been locked in a dispute with the council over imposed wage cuts of up to 5.5%. The unions have proposed alternative plans for budget balancing, including wage freezes and temporary pay cuts, but these proposals have been rejected by the council.