Keeping an open mind for services

A LEADING Worcestershire politician has called for a free thinking approach towards a controversial scheme to ask people to take over traditional council services for free.

Councillor John Campion has insisted that the idea will not fail and believes there is enough goodwill from the public to make it work.

As your Worcester News first revealed last September, the county council is offering services such as hedge trimming, salt spreading, youth centre provision and libraries out to the wider community.

It want groups such as parish councils and residents associations to take them on in a bid to save money.

The project, called Act Local, has attracted scepticism with fears that it could result in huge geographical inequalities in the services on offer.

Coun Campion, who is the county council’s cabinet member for localism and communities, said: “This is about us saying if you want this service to continue, come and tell us what you want to do and we can take it from there. We have heard claims that some communities will not be able to organise themselves in the same ways people in more affluent areas will be able to. Well, my response to that is that localism is done by different communities in different ways. It’s all about a much more free thinking approach.”

His comments were in reaction to a motion by opposition councillors saying that they feared a postcode lottery if more volunteers come forward in some areas than in others.

During the debate, Tom Wells, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: “If we are not careful we will see the voluntary sector pick up things like youth provision and people in some parts of Worcester-shire will get a very good service, but youngsters in other areas might get zilch. That’s our concern.”

A motion was backed saying all groups wanting to take on services will be shown examples of good practice to help them make it a success.

Comments (2)

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4:21pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Landy44 says...

Depending on the service concerned, I think this is a good idea! The Council have no business "helping" (ie interfering) with some services to begin with so handing them back to individuals, volunteers, etc. is the right thing to do. It will mean that people who value certain services will take responsibility and action for continuing them, and services that aren't valued will cease.

Given that the council are involved, and their track record,I have a concern and a question:

Concern - Based on their track record for decision making, the council will most likely elect to retain and continue some of the services that ought not to have been council provided in the first place, continuing the waste of money.

Question - How much will this reduce our council tax bill by? That is, we're surely not expected to pay for something we are no longer receiving from the council? REALLY?

Perhaps someone from the council could let us know.
Depending on the service concerned, I think this is a good idea! The Council have no business "helping" (ie interfering) with some services to begin with so handing them back to individuals, volunteers, etc. is the right thing to do. It will mean that people who value certain services will take responsibility and action for continuing them, and services that aren't valued will cease. Given that the council are involved, and their track record,I have a concern and a question: Concern - Based on their track record for decision making, the council will most likely elect to retain and continue some of the services that ought not to have been council provided in the first place, continuing the waste of money. Question - How much will this reduce our council tax bill by? That is, we're surely not expected to pay for something we are no longer receiving from the council? REALLY? Perhaps someone from the council could let us know. Landy44

3:14pm Sat 26 Jan 13

DarrenM says...

excellent idea, i'm more than willing to block off the stupid slip road on the whittington roundabout for free, ill pop out with a few cones now if you like?
excellent idea, i'm more than willing to block off the stupid slip road on the whittington roundabout for free, ill pop out with a few cones now if you like? DarrenM

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