Monday, 9 March 2009

One day left to save a vital welfare service?

Barnet council has extended the period for consultation on their proposal for 'cessation' of the Welfare Rights Unit until this Wednesday, 11 March. You can read a hastily assembled Equalities Impact Assessment and other information relating to the proposal and find out how to comment here.

I would urge you also to look at the coverage on the Unison website of this issue. There you can see statements by Barnet council staff and voluntary sector bodies opposing closure and clearly stating that the services they provide and those that the Welfare Rights Unit provides are COMPLEMENTARY. The services to vulnerable people who have difficulties claiming benefits to which they are entitled will suffer if this Unit closes. See coverage here.

If anyone thinks the Welfare Rights Unit is some flabby outfit, I would point out that the staff is 5-6 people and the whole Unit costs £180,000 a year to run, including salaries. The Cabinet members who have just voted themselves big rises in their allowances should reflect on that; Barnet voters certainly will.

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