It refers to the intention (far from being realised) of sharing back office and, to some extent, residents' personal information with other large organisations in the borough, including potentially the police, Middlesex University, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the NHS.
It also sounds friendly and we're all in this together-ish. We're not in it together, however, as the controversial attempt to raise senior cabinet members' allowances showed (and committee chairmen and women did get whopping great rises in the end).
The new Barnet Alliance for Public Services newspaper "Our Barnet" provides some details of the One Barnet that Lynne Hillan and her fellow Tories are trying to foist on us. It is a council with a £54.5 million financial hole to plug over the next three years. They say they will achieve this through a combination of:
- One Barnet £12.1mIf One Barnet fails, ie, they don't save any money or, worse, wind up losing money, you can bet the "service reductions", eg, devastating the youth service, stopping the crossing patrols outside schools, cutting children's centres, axing the museums, abandoning the Arts Depot to an uncertain future and closing libraries, withdrawing EMA from sixth form students, and leaving school buildings dilapidated, will only increase.
- Efficiency projects £22.9m
- Increased income £4.2m
- Service reductions £15.2m
And you can bet that "revenue income optimisation", eg, fleecing drivers, and charging social services users, will increase.
That's the Tories' One Barnet, for you. Our Barnet is about standing up to central government and challenging the cutting of Barnet's grant, defending vital public services, spending our taxes on services, not handing it over to large corporations for their profits, guaranteeing that working for Barnet means decent pay and conditions of service, libraries open for longer, school buildings are repaired, elderly people have the services they need to lead dignified lives, young people enjoy the meaningful activity they need to help them develop, and everyone has somewhere decent to live. I know where I'd rather live.
If you would be prepared to deliver some copies of the "Our Barnet" newspaper in your area, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.