BOLTON TUC voted unanimously at its October delegate meeting to oppose the proposal by Bolton Council to outsource Corporate Property Services.

The idea that Bolton Council is unable to look after all the assets which make up a still proud town was deemed both insulting and potentially dangerous.

Our schools and libraries, our museums and town hall — all Bolton's land and buildings are a core part of who we are, and we should look after them ourselves.

The proposal to outsource is insulting because the council has given assurances that this vital service would remain in-house; but the biggest insult is that it breaches the council's own ethical policy which opposes blacklisting — yet the proposal is that companies such as Carillion might be given the job of looking after our town's vital assets.

Carillion was recently found guilty of operating a blacklist which was illegal; they have reluctantly, after many years, paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds in total to the many hundreds of workers who were effectively consigned to a lifetime's unemployment as a result of their bosses' secret defamations.

Many workers died before Carillion paid out; some committed suicide; some got nothing, after a mysterious fire destroyed many of the records. There are many Bolton families who know only too well the misery caused, often ending in family breakdown.

This was felt strongly at Bolton TUC, where one delegate recounted his own struggles after being blacklisted in the 1970s.

Bolton Council has an ethical policy not to use firms found guilty of blacklisting; it should honour that pledge.

But, as well as being an insult, the proposal to outsource is a very dangerous proposal. In the post-Grenfell world we now live in, the dangers of weakening the enforcement of building regulations are tragically before us.

By ceding control over our precious land and property, Bolton Council is going down a potentially perilous route.

Bolton TUC urges the council to bin these proposals, and keep Corporate Property Services where they belong — with the democratically elected council.

Tom Hanley

Bolton TUC media correspondent