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TORY COUNCILS TAKE THE LEAD IN BLOCKING TENDERING DRIVE

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A survey of 50 contractors by the Clause 26 lobby group shows that Conservative controlled councils have taken the ...
A survey of 50 contractors by the Clause 26 lobby group shows that Conservative controlled councils have taken the lead in blocking the government's compulsory competitive tendering programme, reports the Financial Times (p10).

They are using the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations 1981 to do so. Where Tupe applies a successful bidder must take the workforce over on the existing terms and conditions.

Thirty six per cent of councils which have tendered contracts stating that Tupe applies were Conservative, while only 26% were Labour- controlled and 5% were held by Liberal Democrats.

Almost half the contractors surveyed (45%) said they would not have entered the council services market in 1988 if they had known that Tupe would be an issue, and 97% labelled it unsatisfactory.

Cliff Davis-Coleman, director of Clause 26, said the Conservative councils' reaction was due to the Environment Department's confused legal position, which had been made worse by Monday's consultative paper and meant only a lawyer employed by a council could determine whether Tupe applies, the Financial Times reports.
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