Sunday, 9 June 2013

Urgent - Barnet Council News Alerts - Your Choice Board in a panic?

At 3pm Your Choice are meeting with some Carers (called last minute probably because of the stiff letter from solicitors acting on behalf of Carers and the threat of a JR looming). At 5pm there is a Board Meeting to vote through the cuts and changes. This meeting has not been advertised on their website like previous meetings
There maybe a few press releases about Your Choice going out tomorrow so keep an eye out.

The legality of the One Barnet Programme of privatising 70-90% of all council services was challenged in the High Court and is awaiting an appeal hearing, scheduled to 7-8 October 2013. We were therefore amazed to hear that the council and Capita are about to sign the contract (NSCSO) on the 14 of June, before the appeal is heard, with the risk of costing Barnet tax payers huge sums of money if and when the court will find the One Barnet Programme unlawful.
We must demand that this disrespect to the legal system is stopped.

If you want to stop this dangerous policy, Please follow the link below or write your own to the council’s leader, Cllr Richard Cornelius.

You can email the Leader of Barnet Council, Richard Cornelius at this email address

Here is a suggested wording -

Dear Cllr Cornelius,

Barnet’s future is awaiting the outcome of a court decision on the legality of the outsourcing contracts of the One Barnet programme. Respect for the rule of law is a pillar of our British system of democracy. Therefore, I am alarmed to discover that the council is contemplating moving on with the contract even before the court case is concluded.
This alarm is heightened when I am told that the matter is not due to be heard until October! The One Barnet programme was challenged in a judicial review whose decision on 29 April was immediately appealed. Why this delay? Apparently because Barnet’s legal representative will not be available before that. Barnet’s own team is helping create a long delay. One Barnet is being promoted as a way of saving council money in a time of austerity. You, Richard Cornelius, the council leader, said that the delay costs “effectively another £700,000 per month” (in the Barnet Press 1-5-13). So it seems Barnet is happy to accept the costs associated with the delay rather than be firm with its lawyers and serve best the interests of its residents and tax payers.
In that time, we face the prospect of the outsourcing company – Capita – taking over the council functions and staff, with all the disruption and problems that come with such changes. The court is likely to take a dim view of this, and we residents would be up in arms. This is legally very suspect, financially to unwind this decision would be hugely expensive, and most of all it shows huge contempt for the public’s democratic rights.
The council should not defy the law in this way. It should not waste our money, and it should attend very closely to public’s view.

Of course you may well support the One Barnet program and wish to congratulate Councillor Cornelius on his strategy. In which case, maybe you'd prefer this text (especially if you are a Capita Shareholder)

Dear Councillor Cornelius,

As a shareholder of Capita, I must commend your fantastic policy of handing over large chunks of Taxpayers money to our company. I am most pleased that you have chosen to ignore such outsourcing fiasco's as Liverpool Council, the Court Translation Service and the Criminal Records Bureau in making your decision. As the saying goes, past performance does not necessarily guarantee future performance and I commend your faith in what our sales force have told you. Too often in public life, decision makers are risk averse and overly careful with taxpayers money.  As your former colleague Brian Coleman liked to say "you can't make an omelette without cracking a few eggs". I must commend you on your decision which has helped see the Capita share price rise from 650 a year ago to 950 today (;range=1y;compare=;indicator=volume;charttype=area;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=off;source=undefined; ) 

Whilst there will be a few redundancies in Barnet, it is great that your efforts are creating jobs in other parts of the country. Such generosity will surely be appreciated in these far flung hamlets.

You have made all of our select little club of shareholders very happy, thank you for your efforts. 

Thank you

A Capita Shareholder

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