West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper believes that commercial confidentiality has triumphed over the public interest when it comes to One Connect Limited. MP Rosie said it was time the public interest was put first.
Rosie Cooper MP was speaking to the BBC Sunday Politics Show following the announcement that Lancashire County Council’s suspended Chief Executive’s employment had been terminated. For the past 12 months MP Rosie has been raising concerns about the lack of information available to both the public and their elected representatives on the detail of the One Connect Limited contract – a joint venture between Lancashire County Council and BT.
MP Rosie said the failure to release the details of the contract into the public domain for scrutiny was a “triumph of commercial confidentiality over public interest.”
There has been considerable controversy surrounding the deal since it was signed, which has heightened in recent months following the revocation of the Fleet Services Maintenance contract, the investigation into the actions of the County Council Chief Executive, the resignation of the One Connect Limited Chief Executive and the fact that he received two payments totalling £600,000 paid two months before he left his post.
MP Rosie said:
“I spoke out on the BBC Sunday Politics Show about One Connect Limited because the termination of the Chief Executive’s employment and the resignation of the One Connect Limited Chief Executive is not and should not be the end of the matter as far as I am concerned.
“There are serious questions about the One Connect Limited contract that remain unanswered. The council taxpayers of Lancashire deserve answers.
“Cllr Geoff Driver is certainly one person who needs to be answering questions about the deal. As the former County Council Leader he is the one who signed the deal off in the name of Lancashire residents
“Despite his best efforts to divert attention from his involvement in the One Connect Limited contract and the Fleet Services Maintenance contract he is running out of excuses. I think it is time he puts the people he serves first.
“It is about time the interests of Lancashire council taxpayers came first. The only way I believe public confidence can be restored is to open the books on the One Connect Limited contract. Let’s have a debate about what the deal is, how it works and if it is a good or bad deal for the people of Lancashire.”