Conservative controlled Derby City Council’s decision to expand the privatisation of the city’s Moorways leisure facilities have been condemned by Unite, the UK’s leading union.

During an urgent cabinet meeting on Wednesday April 28, the decision to include Moorways Stadium within the council’s outsourcing plans for the new swimming pool complex was taken.

In February, Derby City Council announced that it intends to outsource the running of the £42 million Moorways Sports Village and swimming complex, due for completion next year, to a private provider.

Derby City Council’s Labour group said outsourcing the new facilities was the equivalent of handing over ‘the family silver’

Under the newly expanded plans, the stadium, which is currently run by the council, will be run by the same operator.

Neither Unite, which has more than 200 members at the council, nor any other trade union, have been consulted over the privatisation of the swimming complex, stadium or related facilities. 

This is despite their potential impact on staff working within the council’s leisure services department, which is currently undergoing restructuring. 

Unite regional officer Paula Stephens said: “During Wednesday’s meeting, cabinet members were asked to defer the decision to privatise the stadium so it could be properly scrutinised. 

“Questions about the impact on staff went unanswered, just as concerns over the decision to outsource the water park were ignored in February.

“Our members are rightly worried: Time and again over the past decade, outsourcing decisions have resulted in private companies raking in profits by running substandard public services and attacking jobs.

“Unite has yet to see any reasonable justification for handing a £42 million swimming and sports facility paid for by the public straight into the arms of a profit-seeking company. 

“As well as opposing the council’s privatisation plans, Unite is demanding guarantees that council staff will not be adversely effected.”


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.