Bristol Labour watch

Green councillor Charlie Bolton points out in the depths of his blog that Labour’s new proposals for the home care service will break their election promise not to privatise any more of the service.

Labour’s social services boss, Peter Hammond appears to have now committed himself to outsourcing to the private sector any care packages involving 5 or less hours of care that are currently delivered by the council’s service. Bolton calculates this is about 30% of the work currently done by the council. All of which will be privatised under Hammond’s alleged “no more privatisation” banner.

The Lib Dems meanwhile are “calling in” for further discussion Hammond’s slash and burn decision last week on the future of the council’s residential care homes. Hammond’s plan on this one is to close eight out of 13 homes and privatise the rest.

The Lib Dems say Hammond’s decision shows a lack of transparency, poor consultation and that he does not have any evidence to support his case.

Fairly reasonable claims if you consider that Bristol Labour – who claimed in May when they took power that transparency in decision-making was absolutely paramount” – only released their plan one week before they took the decision to go ahead.

And Hammond’s response? “I did not ask the cabinet to agree any sort of detailed costed programme,” retorts the financial genius.

No surprises there then. Has Hammond ever presented a detailed costed proposal for any decision he’s made in the last five years? Indeed it’s highly unlikely he would recognise a costed proposal if it was boning him up the backside.

This entry was posted in Bristol, Home Care, Labour Party, Local government, Politics, Social Care and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Bristol Labour watch

  1. Pick-me-Up says:

    … and meanwhile the Pickups are slammed by one of their own Party for stupidly clinging on to silly wishy-washy ‘no blame’ attitudes to school bullies.

  2. dave angel says:

    Has anyone got in touch with Cllr Sean “daddy’s boy” Beynon to see if he has opposed this privatisation of Bristol home care as per his manifesto pledge?

    After all it will be a terrible betrayal of the financiers of his election campaign (and his father) if he has said or done nothing.

  3. Well done to Charlie Bolton for his continuing work on this issue on the council!!

  4. Gary Hopkins says:

    Unfortunately for Charlie we remember him voting with the Tories to put Labour in to power precisely because of this issue. Had he not seen enough lies from Labour in Southville,and elsewhere, in the election?

  5. Peter Goodwin says:

    Be fair Gary.

    Charlie’s vote was never going to put anyone in power, given the way seats are distributed among the parties.

    More important, everyone – LibDems included – knew that your lot would do nothing to cut back on Home Care privatisation – after all, it was your proposals that provoked the crisis in the first place. And – tongue in cheek though it may have been – Charlie did offer to lead a coalition cabinet that would be committed to keeping Home care in-house ( ) Voting in a minority Labour administration wasn’t the first choice.

  6. Avid readers will enjoy the clarification that the Home Care proposals from Hammond et al will deliver 6,500 hours per week in house and 25,500 hours per week outsourced to the independent sector. The irony is not lost on me. These proposals will result in EXACTLY the same percentage outsourced to the independent sector (80%) as was proposed under the last administration.

    Could this be the work of the same Labour group who said in a leaflet Spring 2007 that, “people will suffer if the service is handed over to private agencies”.

    At least with Labour sticking to Lib Dem proposals on Home Care outsourcing, the improvements in Adult Social Care should be maintained.

    More details at:

  7. Gary Hopkins:

    Remember that there was a swing back to Labour in the last local election and so there was a democrativc case for them running the council.

    The ball was hit back into Labour’s court. They had the chance to stick by what they said, especially on Home Care but also on things like recycling, to get elected. Clearly we can now see they have not. They may well pay an electoral price for this.

  8. thebristolblogger says:

    Yes but the swing was from Conservative to Labour.

    In 2006 the results were: Con 30.74%; Lib 28.34%; Lab 26.79%

    In 2007 the results were: Lab 29.67%; Lib 27.21%; Con 25.20%

  9. Gary Hopkins says:

    Jon is not giving Labour the full publicity they deserve. The first job we had to do in May 2005 when we took over was to rescue the meals on wheels ,which Labour were shutting down and reduce the damage to daycenters.They are now going for the hat trick with the mass closure of elderly peoples homes without any details of budgets or if the private sector can take up the slack. History has shown that shunting elderly people from home to home can prove fatal.
    Labour,s dishonesty on all these issues will make managing change more difficuilt and destroy trust from residents.

  10. Siesta says:

    Dear Mr Lib Dem Deputy Leader Jon Rogers,

    Labour are appalling.

    Yet you somehow manage to be even worse.

    Yes, the percentage of the overall Home Care market kept in house will be 20% under Labour’s plans, just as it was 20% under yours.

    But Labour’s plans are based on the Home Care market about twice the size of yours.

    So their 20% is 20% OF A MUCH BIGGER NUMBER – hardly the same thing if you’re a Home Care worker or service user, as there’s less chance of your job or service being privatised.

    Lib Dem – Labour – dishonesty = pot – kettle – black.

  11. thebristolblogger says:

    Can someone tell me from what documents they’re getting this information from? and where you get them?

  12. Thanks Siesta

    Both Labour and Lib Dem plans are designed to deliver significant increases in the total size of the Home Care Service from about 19,000 hours per week to 32,000 hours. This growth is essential to support elderly people in their own homes, including very sheltered housing.

    Both Labour and Lib Dem plans are designed to deliver significant increases in the independent sector provision of Home Care with the Reablement Service remaining in-house.

    Lib Dems were quite explicit about this and it was discussed openly on all party Scrutiny committees for almost a year before the Cabinet decision in February 2007.

    Contrast this to Labour who fought against our proposals saying for example, “Our elderly and vulnerable don’t need privatised services – they want proper Council provision”, say Ron [Stone] and John [Deasy] in their St George West election leaflet April 2007.

    Then look for the Labour manifesto – where is it?

    Then try and work out what they are proposing on Residential Futures or on Home Care. Even when their reports are reluctantly published, the only way to understand what they really mean is to check with officers. They avoid Scrutiny and pull reports at the last minute.

    It is Labour hypocrisy which should be exposed.

    PS to blogger, the figures are buried in the agenda notes for next Monday’s select committee. I have just checked the agenda on the Council web site and notice that the Home Care Futures link incorrectly points to the minutes of the Residential Futures report from 29th October! Conspiracy or Cock up?

  13. Siesta says:

    Dear Mr Rogers,

    No need to thank me.

    I don’t doubt that both plans may have been ‘designed to deliver a significant increase’ in the Home Care market (to the benefit of private companies).

    But the 20% market share for the in house service your Cabinet voted for was based on the September 2005 market.

    (See p6 and 7 in )

    The September 2005 market was 19,120 hours a week.

    (See p79 in )

    Whereas Labour’s 20% market share for the in house service is, as you note yourself, out of a market of 32,000 hours a week.

    Please don’t pretend their plans are as bad as yours. They’re bad, but they’re not quite that bad.

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