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Essex Liberal Democrats

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Essex Education Services to be privatised – review blocked

June 19, 2018 3:51 PM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats
School signEssex Education Services (EES) will now be sold to the private sector, following a vote at Essex County Council (ECC). At the People and Families Scrutiny Committee, a call by the Liberal Democrats to postpone the sale was rejected by 7 votes to 4.
The hope had been that the decision was referred back to the Cabinet Member for further consideration, but even this minimal requirement was rejected.
Cllr John Baker (Lib Dem, Colchester) instigated the 'Call-In' and made a robust case for keeping the service in house. He expressed grave concerns at the loss of democratic accountability if the service is sold.
Cllr Baker said, "Selling EES to a private company will undermine democratic accountability over the education service in Essex and will not be in the best interests of the children and families it is meant to serve."
Cllr Jude Deakin (Lib Dem, Chelmsford) supported the Call-In and made the point that EES made a large surplus of some £4 Million per year, to help Essex taxpayers, which would be lost if sold to the private sector.
Cllr Deakin also stated that, while the Conservative council was failing to invest in the service, they were happy to spend £27 Million buying property outside of Essex.
PWC, the organisation that recommended that ECC sell off the service, has recently been fined the huge amount of £6.5 million and a partner banned from the profession for 15 years - who signed off the BHS accounts as a going concern, just days before it was sold for £1.