Those worried that Conservative controlled Essex County Council had developed hard left tendencies with its plans to open a bank, may be reassured that it is adopting a radical approach of putting "any or all" of its services out to tender. They have set themselves a target of £200 million of savings over three years. As well as saving money the drive is to help ensure "modern, responsive and personalised" public services.

Cllr Stephen Castle was on the Politics Show outlining the approach and stressed that no final decisions had been taken. It will be interesting to see how they get on. Perhaps they will even privatise this bank they are setting up.

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