Council Privatisation Must Be Challenged

Republican Network for Unity condemn the recent proposal by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to outsource public sector waste collection to a private company. This represents a dangerous precedent, the adoption of a clear ring wing economic shift within the borough and has serious implications for all council workers in the area.

Such privatisation brings with it, of course,  the risk of jobs (severance packages already being discussed) and the lowering of wages. These proposals already approved have been carried out in a manner which shows clearly that the proponents of this shift to the private sector, were fully aware of the unpopularity associated with the decision.

This erosion of the public sector was approved by the local representatives in a closed session in which press had no access to. Allowing for the local authority to formulate and approve this deal free from opposition.

Ard Chomhairle member Nathan Stuart commenting on this recent decision stated:

“Taking these services from public ownership and handing them to a profit driven business will undoubtedly shift the onus from service to monetary gain and ultimately the workers and the wider community will suffer as a result.”

“The risk of jobs alone should be cause for concern enough however this proposal coupled with the manner in which Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council have carried it out must be challenged.”

“Having worked in the area for several years I have frequently made use of the recycling centres in the Antrim and Newtownabbey area and the professionalism and service in which the workers provide is a credit to the public. This is not only an issue for the workers involved in waste collection but for all council workers and the wider public that depend on these services. These jobs must be jealously guarded and any such proposals of privatisation should be promptly binned.”