Green Party councillors on Oxfordshire County Council are placing a motion for debate to stop a new agreement which would undermine our public services.
Councillor David Williams, leader of the Green Group on the County Council, explains:
“The Green Party wants Oxfordshire County Council to help resist the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to govern trade relations between the EU and USA. It is now clear what is being proposed in that ALL local authority contracting will be open to submissions to tender by US corporations without restrictions. Contract compliance conditions set by local Councils will be open to legal challenge in an separate international tribunal divorced from the UK legal system. Such a system undermines democracy, but it also attacks our public services:
“Should such a system come into being the County Council's ability to decide to provide services that are delivered ‘in-house’ by the County Council itself will be illegal. The County’s ability to create safeguarding clauses in contracting could lead to legal action by US corporations eager to maximise profits. Direct contracts focused on Adult Social Care, Education Support Services or Highways Maintenance could be open to challenge as could commissioned contracts by the local NHS within which the County now has a scrutiny role. This would have negative implications for jobs in the County.
“The cost of litigation to the County Council could be immense and the restrictions envisaged by TTIP will further erode the County Council ability to determine its own direction and contract compliance.”