Services: 'It's Up to Workers' Labour Defiant over Private Finance

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), February 2, 2002 | Go to article overview

Services: 'It's Up to Workers' Labour Defiant over Private Finance


Byline: Political Correspondent

THE Government would press ahead with plans to involve private firms in modernising the public sector and frontline workers must accept their responsibility for delivering better services, senior Cabinet ministers insisted yesterday.

In a keynote speech to Labour's local government and women's conference in Cardiff, Home Secretary David Blunkett said that ministers were held responsible for aspects of the public services over which they have no direct control.

Complaining of having "the worst of all worlds", he lamented that he and other Home Office ministers are blamed for any rise in crime, even though police forces have operational independence.

Mr Blunkett suggested that frontline workers and local community leaders had to acknowledge their share of the burden in delivering high-quality services.

Later, picking up on the reform theme, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott told the conference that the Government would press ahead with its plans for greater private sector involvement in education, health, and transport, despite the fierce opposition of the trade unions. …

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