Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 29, 2016

Is Serco Our Most Hated Company?

Serco, we will all recall, shafted tax payers for over £68.5m plus VAT after overcharging on its contract, its fake accounting, to provide electronic tagging of offenders. It repaid it, in 2013, and Serco also agreed to repay £2m in past profits on a separate prisoner escort contract after it was found that its staff had been recording prisoners as delivered “ready for court” when they were not. serco2_g_w_LRG Serco lost its £47,000,000 contract at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, which sets the standard for measuring Greenwich Mean Time, length, mass and temperature. In 2014 in an astonishing update, the company issued a profits warning, wrote down £1.5billion from its business, announced a £550million rights issue, and warned it would not grow for two years. Shares fell by a third, wiping £585million from its stock market value. The stock  fell by two-thirds in 12 months, and was at its lowest level for ten years. darkest_hour_for_serco_ch

In short, corrupt practices were undertaken, fraud took place, and yet no prosecutions took place. During these periods of malpractice the same company under the names of Serco Leisure Operating Limited, Serco Limited or Serco (Jersey) Limited was operating the leisure services for WLBC and receiving about £1,000,000 a year poured into it by the Tory controlled council.

Now, Serco is in bed with Cameron and the remainers. Imagine the publication of the exposures that on 3 February Cameron stated he wasn’t, and never would, argue that Britain couldn’t survive outside the EU. And the publication 5 days later of that letter from the Serco boss, thanking Cameron for a “very useful meeting” and that in the FTSE 500 companies they should include Brexit as a key risk. So much for the crooked Serco and its boss Rupert Soames and his campaign to mobilise corporates! In the same letter Soames argued that the private sector only having 15% of the prisons market was a wasted opportunity.

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All this led to Gisella Stuart MP asking Osborne urgently to tell us how many secret deals had been cut, who with, and what promises they had been given. As though Serco, arguing ferociously for the UK to remain, had any moral right to talk to any government? Serco runs private prisons in England and Wales, it obtained a £704,000,000 contract to run immigration removal centres and accommodation centres for asylum seekers. Soames, by way of remuneration, was paid £1,100,000 salary and received a bonus of £1,275,000.

And here, closer to home, we have the debacle of the Serco managed Beacon Park Golf Course landfill and total ruination of part of the course and the destruction of the golf driving range. Endless lorry loads of rubble, concrete, and plastic are being shaped into massive hills to be seeded for golf and foot golf. Endless sums of money for the landfill are going not into WLBC for the benefit of Skelmersdale leisure services but for private gain. As a councillor stated in October 2009 “The Tories are pouring taxpayers’ money away, and have stupidly and arrogantly locked us into a 15 year contract with Serco” and we need to know the truth of that, and soon!


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