Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, is hosting a public meeting on the opening day of the Brighton Fringe Festival which will discuss how to keep public services in public ownership.
With all three main parties steadfastly committed to the idea of privatising public services, alongside escalating concern at the performance of the privatised utilities including the rail network, the question of who should own and hold these essential services to account has become a touchstone debate in British politics.
What should the response be from those who depend on or work in these essential services? Where will privatisation end? Can this trend be reversed and what are the impending risks to cherished national institutions such as the NHS?
Taking their cue from national campaign group We Own It, Caroline and expert speakers will explore why public services should be brought back into public hands.
Caroline has already launched her Private Members Bill in the Commons to bring the rail service back into public ownership.
Caroline said, “I have also been inspired by the national campaign We Own It to table a Private Members Bill seeking to bring public services back into public ownership and so this event is a chance to explore what we want our public services to look like in the future.”
Cat Hobbs, Director of We Own It, said: “It’s brilliant that Caroline Lucas is taking a stand for everyone who uses public services. Privatisation has failed and outsourcing is an experiment gone badly wrong. It’s time for all political parties to create a better future by putting public services in public hands.”
In a BBC Question Time style format, panellists will discuss how this could be done without further harm to services or job security and explore how to ensure that the private companies currently running everything from parts of our NHS and public transport to our schools and benefits system can be made more accountable and transparent.
The panel line up is: Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion (Chair), Cat Hobbs from We Own It, Will Cottrell from Brighton Energy Co-op and Peter Holbrook from the Social Economy Alliance.
‘In our hands – public services for people’ is at 3.30pm on Saturday 3 May at the Brighthelm Church & Community Centre. Admission is free but it is advisable to book a ticket in advance.
Tickets, which are free, are available at from: http://boxoffice.brightonfringe.org/events-and-film/6333/in-our-hands-public-services-for-people
More details about We Own It are at: http://weownit.org.uk/
Caroline and commuter pic (c) www.JJWaller.com