The Bickerstaffe Record

Cotterill on the Council, Leisure and culture, Uncategorized

Letter to Serco

01.25.11 | Comment?

Further to this post, here is my letter to West Lancashire Community Leisure Trust trustees:

Dear Trustee

I am writing to you in advance of your vital meeting on 25th January 2011 to ask you to fulfil your commitment to the residents of West Lancashire.

Although I have no access to your board papers, I understand from Council officers that as part of your agenda you will be considering whether or not the Trust should voluntarily accept a reduction in the subsidy paid to it by the Council, without a reduction in service provision levels. This agenda item is consequent to the Council’s Procurement Practice Note 12, under which senior managers of the Council are required to approach their main contractors with a view to securing reductions in contract price, and report back by the end of January 2011.

As you know, the central government grant to West Lancashire Borough Council is being cut savagely in 2011-12, with further reduction in the three years beyond that. I ask that the Trust accept reductions in its own contract value (without a concomitant reduction in service), at least in line with the scale of this grant reduction, and that in so doing the Trust, and indirectly Serco Ltd and its shareholders, ‘share the pain’ being meted out on public services by the government.

Such a step would in any event be broadly in line with Serco’s own cost-reduction strategy, reflected in a letter from its own Finance Director to its own sub-contractors requiring, under threat of contract loss, a reduction in contract price offered.

As a Community Leisure Trust, your main commitment is to the community of West Lancashire, not to your partners Serco Leisure Operating Ltd. I hope this will remain at the forefront of your deliberations during your board meeting.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss this matter in advance of the meeting.

Yours faithfully

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