Thousands sign anti-privatisation petition
8:00am Saturday 22nd September 2012 in News
A petition launched to try and halt Cornwall Council plans to privatise many of its services was signed by more than 2,500 people in less than a week.
It was launched last week in response to Cornwall Council’s ruling cabinet’s vow to press ahead with the proposed sell-off despite a majority vote against the plans at the last full meeting of the authority. If the petition can achieve 5,000 signatures it will trigger another debate on the issue at the council, and put pressure on the cabinet to reverse their decision.
At present, two companies are bidding to enter a ‘strategic partnership’ with the council, which will see them running services worth £300 million a year.
The cabinet has claimed the sell-off will safeguard jobs and services, but opposition members say the plans are being rushed through without consultation. A motion at a full meeting of the council two weeks ago called for the plans to be stopped, and was supported by 46 votes to 29.
However, the cabinet has said it is not possible to reverse the plans, and that one company will be chosen in November to work alongside the council in the new partnership.
Councillor Andrew Wallis, who submitted the motion against the plans, also started the petition.
He said: “We need to reach 5,000 signatures for the petition to trigger a debate at the full council.
“It would give us the opportunity to show the cabinet exactly how people feel about this plan to sell off services. “In a week we have received over 2,500 signatures online, and there are another 20 paper signatures out there collecting names as well.
“The reaction to the petition has been overwhelming, I have never had so many emails on one single subject.
“”People are offering support in whatever way they can, from helping to collect signatures to redesigning computer access to the petition to make it easier to sign.
“People want to help the campaign – they just cannot believe what is happening.”
You can view the petition online at www.freepetition.co.uk/cornwall/LivePetition.aspx?PageId=1.