Row over "lack of ambition" claim at Worcester City Council

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Tory group leader

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Tory group leader

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

THE former leader of Worcester City Council has accused rival politicians of "lacking ambition" over handing services to new providers.

Councillor Simon Geraghty has called for more urgency over hiving out departments to outside bodies, saying he is disappointed that the process has slowed down since he was ousted from power.

But his criticism has been rejected as "hypocrisy" by the Labour leadership, which says nothing is off the agenda.

Back in 2012 the old Conservative administration revealed it wanted to examine every single service to see if they could be handed over.

The tactic, known as commissioning, can include the private sector, voluntary groups, not-for-profit bodies, charities, new enterprises or even other councils.

A more detailed wish list was then drawn up including bin collections, museum services and leisure.

Cllr Geraghty was ousted as city council leader in a coup last May after Labour teamed up with the Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Geraghty, now opposition Tory group leader, said: "There is a lack of ambition at this council over commissioning - where is the ambition to deliver the best value-for-money services for taxpayers?

"I'm not an instinctive outsourcer, if I wanted to do that I'd have done it seven years ago (after he became leader).

"I've now lost confidence with what this council agreed, particularly in areas like the bins service.

"This council needs to look at it again, start with the really big services and see if we can squeeze every last penny out of the taxpayers' pound."

His comments, made during a meeting of the performance, management and budget scrutiny committee, were rejected by other politicians.

Councillor Joy Squires, from the Labour Party, said: "I remember it being said (by the Labour leadership) that no stone will be left unturned.

"That was stated very clearly by the cabinet, nothing is being ruled out."

After the meeting Councillor Richard Boorn, cabinet member for finance, said: "This isn't about policy, it's about headline making.

"He knows we are going to look at everything, this is hypocrisy."

The council needs to save £4.1 million by 2019, largely due to unprecedented cuts in Government funding.

It plans to look again at commissioning as part of balancing the books.

Comments (2)

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2:31pm Thu 6 Feb 14

green49 says...

Councillor Simon Geraghty at it again he is, shouting out before engaging the brain? his record in the past has been a disaster, he has a dislike for the disabled, and also does not get his facts right when spouting off, vote him out he is a disgrace and he costs the taxpayer.
Councillor Simon Geraghty at it again he is, shouting out before engaging the brain? his record in the past has been a disaster, he has a dislike for the disabled, and also does not get his facts right when spouting off, vote him out he is a disgrace and he costs the taxpayer. green49
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Landy44 says...

"...unprecedented cuts in Government funding." Hmmm I think those followed many years of "Unpredented Government overspending" so I don't think anyone needs to be complaining about that. We need to get realistic about how much we can afford and cut our cloth accordingly. That will mean services need to go - and thats fine. If they are genuinely needed someone somewhere will provide them. As for "commissioning", the council haven't been any good at providing the services, so what makes them think they'll be any good at selecting and managing someone else to. They need to shut themselves down, give us back our cash and if we need the services we'll find a way to obtain and pay for them ourselves.

This chap really doesn't do himself any favours though - he needs to go. As frankly, do the rest of the council. Their infighting, bickering, indecisiveness, squabling, incompetence and general lack of business acumen or care for their constituents, continues to get headlines but achieves nothing other than wasting more time and more of OUR money.

If anyone thinks the politicians have the solutions to any of our problems, then they are sadly misguided. They only cause mayhem and perpetuate more cost and more problems. Frankly, I'm done with the lot of them.
"...unprecedented cuts in Government funding." Hmmm I think those followed many years of "Unpredented Government overspending" so I don't think anyone needs to be complaining about that. We need to get realistic about how much we can afford and cut our cloth accordingly. That will mean services need to go - and thats fine. If they are genuinely needed someone somewhere will provide them. As for "commissioning", the council haven't been any good at providing the services, so what makes them think they'll be any good at selecting and managing someone else to. They need to shut themselves down, give us back our cash and if we need the services we'll find a way to obtain and pay for them ourselves. This chap really doesn't do himself any favours though - he needs to go. As frankly, do the rest of the council. Their infighting, bickering, indecisiveness, squabling, incompetence and general lack of business acumen or care for their constituents, continues to get headlines but achieves nothing other than wasting more time and more of OUR money. If anyone thinks the politicians have the solutions to any of our problems, then they are sadly misguided. They only cause mayhem and perpetuate more cost and more problems. Frankly, I'm done with the lot of them. Landy44
  • Score: -1

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