Private sector workers just as proud and praise-worthy as public sector staff

Gillian Hibberd’s worthy sentiments (Letters, Personnel Today, 18 September) regarding a lack of recognition of Sue Scrivens and her colleagues’ hard work at Gloucestershire County Council during the recent floods (right) was wholly undermined by her crass one-liner on private sector employees. Apparently, we in the private sector only exist to line the pockets of shareholders, while she and her colleagues alone maintain the structures vital to society.

Perhaps Hibberd is unaware that these structures are only there to be maintained because of the wealth this nation has created or attracted in its industries and services through the efforts of millions of her fellow citizens in the private sector. Nor do shareholders simply line their pockets – they risk their own money in these enterprises, and without them we could not generate that wealth. Indeed, her own authority’s pension fund will itself be a multi-million pound shareholder in a wide range of UK equities.

We need good public services for a healthy economy, and most of us believe, by and large, we have them. That we have good people leading and working in these services is, therefore, undeniable. However, there are just as many decent, creative and hard-working employees in the ‘dark, satanic mills’ who are proud of what they do and contributing huge amounts to this nation’s wellbeing as there are in the shining spires of the shire authorities.

Ronnie Stevenson

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