TTIP and Local Government

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2016 Local Government Service Group Conference
16 February 2016

Conference notes with great concern the implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for local government and its workforce across the UK. These include:

1)The removal of so-called ‘non tariff’ barriers to trade such as environmental concerns and health and safety regulations;

2)The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism which could leave councils open to legal challenge by multinationals which believe their profits have been affected by councils’ decisions;

3)Prevention of in-sourcing of local services and liability to legal action by multinationals against councils wanting to bring services back in-house;

4)Undermining of planning decisions such as those taken by councils to prevent fracking in their areas;

5)Undermining of EU and national laws such as the Scottish Public Procurement Act which allow councils to take social and environmental considerations into account when awarding contracts.

Conference also notes that the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) have both expressed strong concerns about TTIP and ISDS in particular.

Conference welcomes the work carried out on TTIP by Global Justice Now for UNISON, which includes research on its impact and a model motion for councils and calls on the SGE to work with other service groups, the NEC and Labour Link to:

a)Promote the model motion to local authorities across the UK;

b)Ask councils to raise the issue and encourage support for the motion within their ‘twinned’ councils elsewhere in Europe;

c)Seek meetings with the Leaders of the four UK local government associations to express our concern at the implications of TTIP, and call on them to undertake impact assessments of it on councils and oppose it;

d)Continue to work with Global Justice Now to highlight the implications of TTIP for local government;

e)Keep branches and councils informed of further developments.