The Bickerstaffe Record

Winter 07 Bickerstaffe Record

Ooh-er, they’re sending in the lawyer

05.16.08 | 1 Comment

I’ve received an ‘invitation’ from the West Lancashire District Council  Chief Executive to meet himelf and the District Solicitor to “discuss issues relating to the press release which you issued on SERCO Leisure Service.”  Here is the press release.  Here, with the main 2006 and 2007 data analysis, is the report that I produced on Serco Leisure Ltd’s operations in West Lancashire since ‘outsourcing’ by the Conservatives in 2005. 

The Council went to some lengths to ensure that the report was not distributed through its own channels, and the local press did its best to ignore the detail of the findings, preferring a headline to say that ‘families can’t afford to keep fit’ rather than focusing on what I suggest is a strategy of excludng of low income people.

Now, the Chief Executive is not a bloke who goes around seeking urgent meetings with scruffy opposition councillors if he doesn’t need to, and especially not with his lawyer present.   So something must be up, especially as the press release is four months old now.  I know the Audit Commission took an interest in the findings when I sent them, and I know the auditor has been in the Council recently, so are the big guns coming out to make sure it doesn’t all get just a little bit too public for them?  Are Serco getting a little bit worried and banging their corporate fist?  We’ll see next Thursday when I go and meet them.

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