Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Don't cut our services! Don't privatise our services! No to Barnet easyCouncil!

Barnet trades council, council unions and residents campaigning on a number of issues made up a lively lobby of Hendon Town Hall tonight, 14 September. The full council was meeting to discuss, among other things, the partial reversal of the senior cabinet members' allowance hike (Allowancegate) and to debate a motion of no confidence in the leader Lynne Hillan.

The lobby attracted around 150 people, in spite of the rain. People were angry at the treatment Connaught workers in the borough have received since the company went bust. They are angry about Allowancegate. They are (still) angry about proposed cuts to sheltered housing wardens. They were demonstrating against Barnet council's so-called easyCouncil plan, to privatise most of the council services, and at the same time to charge residents extra on top of council tax for a "better" level of service - as yet unspecified.

Many residents could not get inside the town hall to hear the meeting. There will be complaints about this. Times series reporters tried to deliver their petition against the allowances rise to the leader, but she refused to meet them - she will only speak to the group editor.

The lobby was addressed by, among others, Keith Nason, Barnet NUT; John Burgesss, Barnet Unison; London FBU; Paul Mackney (Coalition of Resistance); Stan Davison, Barnet 55+ Forum. We leafleted the public and attendees, urging them to come to the launch of the Barnet Alliance 4 Public Services at North London Business Park on Thursday 23 September. (More details: info@barnettuc.org.uk). And released a lot of orange and white "easyCouncil" balloons into the stormy Barnet night.

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