GMB call for reversal of decision to award contract to Dome and Festival Ltd

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GMB have called on Brighton and Hove Councillor Warren Morgan to reverse his and his Labour Group’s decision to offer a contract to Dome and Festival Trust and instead revert back to the original decision to set up the Royal Pavilion & Museums services.

At a council meeting last week Brighton and Hove City Council’s Policy, Resources and Growth Committee endorsed the decision to unilaterally award the contract controlling Brighton and Hove’s most famous museums and cultural sites to the Dome and Festival Ltd as part of a one-step approach as opposed to the original two-step process.

GMB are due to meet members on Wednesday 7th February to discuss the next steps, with the view to a consultative ballot.

Mark Turner, GMB B50 Branch Secretary said: “The decision taken by the Policy, Resource and Growth Committee was a complete change of direction from the decision taken in 2017 by the same committee, on forming a standalone trust for the Royal Pavilion and Museum services in the city.

“What the council is now embarking on, with the support of the Labour Group, is a contract with the Brighton Dome and Festival Trust Ltd which for all intents and purposes, is privatisation.

“This contract route was previously dismissed by the councils consultants that were appointed in 2016 who advised the council that the contract route would not be in the financial interests of the council or the service, however now Councillor Morgan and the Labour Group, supported by the Conservatives, have changed their position.

“On the 17th January our members informed us that they did not want to be transferred or be part of a trust that was managed by the Brighton Dome and Festival Trust Ltd and over 95% of the staff signed a petition echoing that stance which was sent to Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of the City Council.

“Councillor Warren Morgan ignored the concerns and issues that the staff have raised and this is a complete lack of regard of meaningful consultation with staff and the recognised trade unions.

“On Wednesday February 7th, we will be meeting our members to discuss what action they wish to take now the council has ignored their views and opposition.

“One of the things on the table to discuss with our members will be running a consultative ballot on potential strike action. This is the last resort that any staff take but in particular, this loyal committed group of staff to iconic buildings and collections in the city.

“I would therefore call upon Councillor Warren Morgan and his Labour Group colleagues to reverse the decision to enter a contractual arrangement with the Dome and Festival Trust and instead revert back to the original decision that the P,R&G Committee took in January 2017 to set up the Royal Pavilion & Museums services as its own independent trust which was the advice of officers and their independent consultants, Price-Waterhouse Cooper.”

Contact: Mark Turner 01273 777027 or 07860 787973 or GMB Press Office 07970 114 762

Notes to Editors:
GMB Press Release 25th January 2018