COUNCIL chiefs are inviting firms to bid to run some of its services.

The authority has targeted highways, asset management and environmental services - which includes street cleaning.

Council leader Sean Anstee said the body needs to save £50m over the next three years and said the authority spends 15 per cent of its budget on these services.

Cllr Anstee said: “What we’re going to ask the market to do is comment on whether they feel they can deliver those savings that are needed by the authority and also maintain the level of service that we have in each of those service areas at the moment and also make sure we can sustain jobs for our employees and maintain services for our residents.”

He assured the borough’s residents that if the council accepts these bids the services affected will still be ‘Trafford services’ and the authority will remain accountable to residents for the way they are run.

Cllr Anstee added: “Some of these services are non-statutory and considering the financial challenge the authority faces over the next three years - £50m - we could get to a point where all we do is provide statutory services. I don’t want that to happen.”

But Councillor David Acton said the proposal has left Trafford’s Labour group feeling ‘deeply concerned.

’ Cllr Acton said: “It is clear that the Conservatives have an ideological desire to privatise as much as they can. They have already sold off all the council elderly persons homes and put the care of our elderly people into the private sector.

“This latest privatisation will affect over 300 Trafford Staff, which puts their jobs and terms of conditions and pay at risk. Recently we have seen time and time again when the private sector has taken over services they fail, for example Gs4, SERCO.”