Privatisation planned for Cornwall libraries

Cornwall council has announced a raft of privatisation plans, meaning key services such as libraries could soon be run by a private company.

The authority has been in negotiation with British Telecom and IT company CSC about taking joint control of services such as libraries, payroll, and benefit payments.

According to the council, the project could produce £5m in savings in the first two years, as well as creating 500 jobs across the Duchy.

The companies will be invited to put in bids to do business with the council, while they also look to sign up other partners, including public sector organizations.

Gill Steward, the corporate director for communities at the council, was quoted on the This is Cornwall website saying the project would bring together “the best of both worlds” from the public and private sector, though she admitted it could lead to more job losses before new roles are created.

Unison spokesman Stuart Roden said: “We don’t see how it’s possible to protect and create jobs, make savings of 20 per cent-plus, improve services and make a profit for the shareholders of private companies. The whole thing does not stack up.”