Our aim is to protect jobs and services within system

THE tit for tat letter from deputy mayor Coun Judith Wallace (News Guardian, September 19) is disappointing for I can assure her that the extent of my involvement with the process of appointing private companies to run North Tyneside Council services is absolutely correct.

Perhaps it was not clear that I did not attend the confidential final decision making mayor and cabinet member only meeting because there was no way I could have contributed or voted.

Since the decision was made, Labour councillors have welcomed the opportunity to be introduced to the new local managers that Balfour Beatty has appointed.

They will be taking over the running of much of the business side of the council’s responsibilities for the next ten years.

We also met the Capita team who will take on the council’s technical package, which includes everything from road repairs to grass cutting for the next 15 years.

They assured us that they will be working closely with councillors and residents.

Both organisations expect to make a profit for their shareholders out of these ventures, but as yet it is unclear how the savings Coun Wallace refers to will be achieved.

Politically, Labour may not agree that this is the best way forward for any public service and remain angered by the anti-democratic turn of events under the mayoral system which meant that the final decision was taken by the minority party on the council, but a decision has been made.

Our aim is to protect jobs and services and we will continue to work under the new system to do that.

I fear in all of this for the future of local government, for at every turn, Conservative policy under David Cameron is taking us even further away from local accountability than ever Margaret Thatcher envisaged.


Weetslade Ward