Tell us what you think

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Why do you want to see public services run for people not profit? Tell us your story here.

We'll use your comments to help make the case for public ownership - look out for your thoughts on our homepage!

Thanks for telling us what you think.

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Robert Hall replied on Permalink

Access to legal help is denied in civil cases because the fees are punitive: £300 plus an hour. Public ownership options:- 1)Legal aid for those below an income level of,say £80,000, should be provided by lawyers, funded from their charges to rich clients. 2) Punitive taxes on legal fees over an affordable amount, say £50 per hour, would drive down the costs. 3). Like care, legal advice and help should be funded from taxation and fees controlled by the state. There would be no opting-out provision

Keith replied on Permalink

Well done, Cat. The Climb Down on NHS professionals,

and We Own It's part in it, is being celebrated all over the



David Warren replied on Permalink

Really pleased to have found your campaign and I wish you every success. Having supported someone who had home and then residential care over a ten year period I have witnessed at first hand the failings in the Adult Social Care set up. The care workers are exploited and the elderly vulnerable people are not getting the support they need. The only ones doing well out of the system are the overpaid bureaucrats in local authorities and the private care companies. Adult Social Care needs to be publicly funded and run as it was back in the time before privatisation.

Jeanne Jackson replied on Permalink

Governments need to understand the public have less and less me,me,me thinking....I recently found out there are over 200 MP's in parliament and more in the House of Lords with their fingers in private/big pharma pies.

Phil replied on Permalink

I listened to the Radio 4 interview; the interviewer was provocative in suggesting you want to punish shareholders and I think you kept your cool really nicely.I thought my personal example might be worth recounting. It represents beautifully the issue of carefully analysing what the utilities may be handing back to the Government if your cause succeeds. In fact it raises the spectre that the shareholders may WANT to hand the utilities back because they have a major debt issue on the horizon. Certainly in my personal case; here's how it goes...

I am fortunate to live on a smallholding alongside a public reservoir in Cornwall. That reservoir was built in 1941 for the local town (Falmouth) water supply.It was built by compulsory purchase of farmland and the terms of the purchase included an obligation to erect and maintain a stockproof perimeter fence where no natural boundary existed.That obligation was on the Town Council and "its successors in title". Forever!(in perpetuity).

I have lived here 25+years. Originally South West Water employed a resident warden for this and 2 neighbouring reservoirs. He lived in a cottage owned by the company at the edge of the reservoir.Our fence - like literally tens-if not hundreds- of miles of fencing around South West reservoirs is concrete posts with chainlink fence strung tight between. He used to mow and strim and tighten up 3 times a year.With privatisation approximately 20 years ago he retired(maybe offered /enforced redundancy -I do not know). His cottage was auctioned off to a private buyer. Interestingly a levy was added to all of our water bills in the South West for "public recreation provision". This was managed by the creation of South West Lakes CHARITABLE Trust whose remit I now know also included maintainence of the Estates. The Trust is funded by South West Water and employs many volunteers. I do not claim to understand the flow of money but what I do know is that either the Trust or South West Water came and planted trees all around the reservoir approx 15 years ago. A huge EU subsidy was claimed. And that was the last we ever saw of anybody!

I continued to manage my pastureland on my side of the fence but finally 2 years ago the blackthorn growth on the public side started to pull the fence off its top straining wire. My fields were no longer stockproof. I was bounced around between South West Lakes Trust and a contractor who it transpires is a private self- employed person working to a budget handed down by South West Lakes Trust. He came within a whisker of putting in a fence with scaffold poles hammered into the ground stating he could not get concrete posts. In fairness waht he meant was he could't get them within the constraints of the budget handed down by the S W Lakes Trust.In frustration ( a member of the public walking their dog kindly came up one day to say one of our stock was grazing under the top strainer wire- 2 feet in my field 2 feet on the reservoir land-) I demanded to speak to a lawyer at South West Water.Basically I felt I was being messed around.She rang me back within an hour and had checked her legal details and said that the obligation was on her company to maintain a 5 foot high stockproof stone hedge.Still nothing was done but she authorised payment of the cost of my repairing the hole- 35 pounds for a man with a chainsaw . I supplied some wire free of charge.

I eventually sought legal advice. My solicitor checked our Deeds at the bank and said it was clear; the obligation was for the Water Authority and their successors in title to do as the lawyer had suggested. I spoke to the Chief Exec S W Lakes Trust.He sent his Estates manager who said they couldn't afford concrete posts and chainlink let alone a hugely expensive stone hedge. I pointed out that they had saved 20 years of maintenence costs and this was a chicken coming home to roost.I said the chainlink fence had been fine and if it had been maintained would still be.I would accept a new concrete posts/ chainlink fence.

And that is what is soon to be erected.

This scenario will be repeated across many miles of reservoir fencing. It is a huge capital expense looming on the horizon.Especially if - subsequent to the Brexit process- farmers are encouraged to restock their fields.Let's hope that it is taken into account literally by anybody valuing the Water companies in the event of a Government buyback.

All the best

kidron marx replied on Permalink

public services include public housing, decimated by thatcher's so called right-to-buy, and the evil assured short hold tenancy that allows landlords to evict on 28 day notice. the right to buy should either apply equally in the private sector, or be scrapped. Blair promised its capital receipts would be returned to LAs for housebuilding. PFI projects are the hugest rip-off of which Grenfell is an example, along with countless others, where for example hospital trusts are crippled by 30 year repayment contracts for defective buildings and infrastructure. This is Thatcher's Britain - it is pure evil

Rose replied on Permalink

I fully support having an NHS without private enterprise taking our money as profit. This includes GP practices. There is no point in talk ing to my MP because she is a tory and does not care about the NHS.

Iain Hoy replied on Permalink

I have always been a firm believer that the sale of public services as a bad idea. Engineered by the banks to reduce money going back into the public purse. Which meant the government has to generate more debt by borrowing to shore up the shortfall. Plus, also reaping the benefits of large amounts in share dividends. What better to sell off than services the public cannot do without on a daily basis. It is pretty much bringing America to it's knees, and it will do exactly the same here if nothing is addressed.

People may be interested in the article in The Independent by John McDonell MP on privatisation. It shows just how self serving and poorly managed public services have been run since being privatised. I was going to post a link but the filter would not allow me to.

chris walton replied on Permalink

As a dialysis patient I am a regular NHS user. My dialysis unit is run by a private firm who are paid a negotiated amount by the NHS. There is a Patient Board of which I am a member, I realise profit has to be made and I am there to ensure quality of service is also maintained for patients, give and take so to speak. I have to admit that this works, the quality of care is better than one would get in an NHS owned and run unit and there is a saving to be made too.

I feel that whatever is sold off there should be a patient representative board to keep costs down and also dividends too and to ensure quality of care is exceptional.

Robin Fielder replied on Permalink

When a Tory tried to canvas me at the recent election, I told him "I grew up with the formation of the Welfare State, and was really proud of it as a boy, but ever since then "You Lot" have systematically tried to dismantle it..." He went off with his tail between his legs.

Sadly, North East Derbyshire was one of the handful of Labour seats that went Tory for the first time for decades. Mainly because the UKIP vote went Tory.

Joy Morby replied on Permalink

I'm so chuffed you started we own it! I have watched our public services being given away at a terrfying rate for over 30 years. We have been taken for a ride by both major parties in that time. Blair really disappointed me. Thanks for being there.

Dan Spence replied on Permalink

Regarding the sale of NHS professionals. I am an employee of NHS professionals and when my team were left with no choice but to sign up to NHS professionals for our overtime we were promised that this was not a private entity but was a part of the NHS and would remain so. This government are selling it off as it has potential to make money for the highest bidder. The profits (if there are any) should be reinvested into the NHS not line the pockets of stakeholders.

david lewis replied on Permalink

please expose the criminal act of the goverment selling OUR plasma supplies to usa republican mitt romney for 230million who then sold it on to a chinese company for 830million, this has got to be exposed,it is our donated blood

Robin Moss replied on Permalink

Happy to support, very much agree - Robin Moss, Labour candidate NE Somerset UK GE 2017

Anthea replied on Permalink

It's great people like you exist! It's important to show there's an alternative to privatisation. We've been so brainwashed into thinking privatisation equated with efficiency and good management, but a fresh look at public ownership is now I feel what's needed. Public services should definitely be run for people, not for profit.

We need to give public ownership a strong new positive image, showing that these days things CAN be done better & more efficiently for the benefit of people. We must overcome the view that public ownership is an outdated, tried & failed, backwards step...

Dr.R.L.Symonds replied on Permalink

Here is a quote from my friend Dr. David Playfair who lives in Canada, regarding his post office:

"There are two reasons why I send paper packages. Firstly, it gives me an opportunity to chat to our village's lady postmaster about what the British post-office did when e-mails reduced the number of letters. Savings bank loans, driving licenses, passports etc etc. She sighs. 'If only our post office would do that - but then the commercial interests would oppose.' Maybe she'll pass the thought on to her Union . . ."

Ian replied on Permalink

The Shareholders are the real winners in all the rail franchises as they will never lose. MPs and their friends are the shareholders and making a lovely risk free income. Yes, I would like to see the railways in public hands but not as it was in the old BR days. The local authorities should be running the rail companies in their areas

Colin Bissell replied on Permalink

I lived, in 1938/39 in a terrace of just 18 houses. During the 18 months to the start of WW2, three old people at that time in their 50s and 60s, died without being able to afford a doctor. None had reached pensionable age, 65, so did not receive the 10/- (50p) pension; all were working until the time of illness.

Although only aged 5 and 6 I never have forgotten parents and neighbours in discussing each case were appalled that their spouses had not said anything. Had they done whiprounds would have been held to raise money for treatment.

The profit before treatment of privatization could, probably would bring back death through poverty.

Steve Turner replied on Permalink

I'm 67, much the same age as the NHS. Since I left school in the mid 60's, I've seen governments of every stripe (and demonstrated against most of them! ) We thought Thatcher was bad but compared to this lot, I'm not so sure now.

Pete Alty replied on Permalink

I've witnessed privatisation of public services since it all began in the 1980s with BT, water, energy and bus deregulation. It didn't make sense then and it still doesn't now: service has declined, particularly for the less wealthy; pay and conditions for workers have deteriorated; and valuable public assets have been handed over on the cheap to private individuals, companies and outsourcing agencies whose values do not correspond with those needed to successfully provide all of society's members with the services they need. Short-term financial gain cannot and does not sustain long-term service provision, organisation and development. The current government is fundamentally opposed to state provision of public services, putting the NHS in grave danger, so this makes the work of "We Own It" absolutely vital.

Norman Anderson replied on Permalink

I would just like a proper public bus service in our village please

We can't get to a local village market which is about 3 miles away.

We can't get to the doctor's surgery in the next village and that is about 1 & 1/2 miles away.

We can't get to a chemist shop/pharmacy in the next village about 2 miles away

We can't get to a Post Office because that's in the next village about 1 & 1/2 miles away.

Our village shops are :-

one kebab shop

one tea shop

2 closed down shops

Forgive me for not getting too excited about bans on new bus companies.


Karen Roscoe replied on Permalink

In Sheffield, the council has contracted Amey to chop down a huge number of trees. The reasons for almost all the "killings" just don't stand up in any way......bumpy pavements (it's actually companies like Amey & utilities that dig holes and poorly repair afterwards that cause most problems), can't afford to look after the trees (but can afford huge teams to chop them down!) etc etc. Sheffield was one of greenest cities in Europe, trees save us from effects of pollution etc but one small area of Sheffield lost 160 trees.....ONE HUNDRED & SIXTY! Read it and weep because they're just keeping on doing it and we can't stop them. THEY ARE OUR TREES.

This was what I put in my survey & I was heartened to receive an email from Weownit commenting on the matter. We have STAG in Sheffield....a group who are trying to stop this senseless destruction but people are getting arrested for peacefully protesting. It's all just WRONG.

J. P. replied on Permalink

Non-profit-driven services mean that quality products and delivery are the no.1 priority. This equates to services for the public and not for greedy CEOs and shareholders.

Susan Hannis replied on Permalink

Privatisation not only takes profits from public services, so away from the public purse, but when it performs badly who picks up the tab? The public!

Chris Heale replied on Permalink

Privatisation is morally dubious for many essential services. As soon as profit is prioritised over people in (for example) healthcare and education, we see a race to the bottom; competing companies drive costs down in the name of efficiency, and all they ultimately concern themselves with is the bottom line. The provision of the service becomes the by-product, and if it works for the people then that's because of a happy coincidence rather than it being a primary objective.

George replied on Permalink

Public services help everyone - not just the well-off.

Dave Eagle replied on Permalink

I don't believe that anyone pays taxes wanting some of that money to go into the pockets of shareholders in the private sector. Efficiency is good, but privatisation is not the only way for an enterprise to be run efficiently.

Anthony Thorley replied on Permalink

Public services are meant to ensure that every one has a roof over their head, food to sustain them, and access to medical services for a life that has quality and hope. To put a price on that and moreover to expect to profit is to demean humanity.

Adrian Finney replied on Permalink

Keep it up!

Helen Tierney replied on Permalink

I feel very strongly that public services MUST remain public & not be sold off to the private sector.

John replied on Permalink

Fares on privatised bus companies continue to soar to increase profits. They should be treated as part of the national infrastructure and be a public service.

Julie Boston replied on Permalink

I value We Own It for supporting action.

Tim Westwood replied on Permalink

I just think making money out of public services, particularly health, is wrong, unjust and inhumane.

Chris Hawes replied on Permalink

I believe public services should be for the public good and any profit or loss should go to the government.

Chris Hawes replied on Permalink

I believe public services should be for the public good and any profit or loss should go to the government.

Nik Sutton replied on Permalink

It is driven by ideology not economics.

Rose replied on Permalink

I hate the way private companies put profit first. I believe that public ownership means that public needs are the most important consideration.

Shirley Salter replied on Permalink

I think this country should be back in the hands of the people, not profiteers.

Irene replied on Permalink

You're all doing a grand job ... onwards and upwards

Laraine Ward replied on Permalink

With Privatisation prices go through the roof and services becomes shoddy and non-existent. Just look at the trains, buses, NHS, post office and energy suppliers.

Simon James replied on Permalink

It is a vital roll you are taking on to ensure that we have services left for our children

Jon Lisle-Summers replied on Permalink

Privatisation results in inconsistent provision. The private sector pulls out, often at short notice, from insufficiently profitable contracts.

Rex Hora replied on Permalink

We are increasingly being governed by companies, not elected governments. This is a denial of democracy.

Paul Robison replied on Permalink

With the signing and imminent ratification of CETA, the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement, between the EU and Canada, privatisation will become more widespread and taking anything back into public ownership will be breaking the deal. Not enough people are aware of the storm brewing with CETA. We need thousands of people to contact their MEPs across the country and demand they vote no when it comes before the European Parliament on Valentine's Day 2017. Maybe your supporters could make a huge difference in this vote.

Alastair Stone replied on Permalink

It will be a long, hard struggle to reverse the damage already done, but it will be worth it. Thank you for running this campaign, it is sorely needed.

Howard Wingfield replied on Permalink

Thanks. Keep up the good work!

Sally James replied on Permalink

I've been corresponding with the CEO of our local bus company for over a year to try to get a more sensible service for my daughter from school. It's really made me think about who privatised services are really for, and has made me absolutely passionate about stopping the government from banning councils from setting up their own companies.

I'm also really worried about how the NHS is being dismantled and privatised bit by bit through the back door. I work for a company that uses Sodexo for catering and cleaning, which I know also supplies the same services to hospitals. I can tell you from experience that their services aren't cheap, and I can't believe it is more economical to outsource such services in hospitals to companies who are operating for a profit. This, of course, is the tip of the iceberg in the NHS!

Stephen Redfern replied on Permalink

Just keep up the good work.

Jo Allen replied on Permalink

I just feel that things that people need - from transport to care services and everything in-between - should be owned by the people and run for the people.

Geof replied on Permalink

I have seen both private and public bodies running eg: British rail. There were problems but it was run for the people and any profits either put back or used by the government. The privatization of OUR NHS is being done with the utmost stealth by underfunding to make an excuse for privatization. All this has to stop!


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