Friday, 22 March 2013

Join the Barnet Spring march, Saturday 23 March, Finchley

I've little time to write my own blogpost this evening so I'll just shamelessly re-publish this week's Barnet Alliance newsletter - which has itself shamelessly stolen Mrs Angry's excellent headline from her blogpost reporting on the final day of Maria Nash's application for Judicial Review of Barnet Council's 'One Barnet' outsourcing programme.

Of course, we have been at the High Court this week finding out just how little regard the Council has for our intelligence or our right to be consulted over what happens to the public services we all rely on and pay for. Mr Justice Underhill's verdict is due after Easter.

Tomorrow, Saturday 23 March, we will be marching, possibly through snow, from Finchley Central station to Friern Barnet Community Library on the 'Barnet Spring' march. There is a bus for those who don't want to walk.

P.S. I can at least contribute to the commonweal some photos from outside the High Court.

Nothing About Us Without Us!

This term communicates the idea that no policy should be made without the full and direct participation of the people concerned. It has a long history within the disabilities rights campaigns, and was adopted by DPAC, Disabled People Against Cuts, as their battle cry.
This term concerns us in many ways. There is, for example, the lack of consultation about the One Barnet Programme, which the council, on the one hand, tried to deny in the High Court; while claiming, on the other hand, that residents are “not capable” of understanding the complexity of the programme, so consultation is pointless. There’s also the failure of Your Choice Barnet, which will cause suffering and distress to parents, carers, service users and staff, and demonstrates the council’s inability to manage and to understand the complexity of its own programmes. And, finally, there is the contempt with which the council has dismissed and insulted concerned residents. 
If you haven't heard yet, the High Court judgment regarding Maria Nash’s challenge will be delivered after Easter. You can find a summary of the deliberations on our website, and also reports (better then ours) by the local bloggers: Barnet Eye, Broken Barnet and Mr Reasonable.
Tomorrow, Saturday, is Barnet Spring. Although spring is not an accurate term for the weather that has been forecast, it might not be that bad. Anyway,we have braved bad weather conditions in the past, so let’s all dress warmly and remember: battling against the weather will make good photo ops and is nothing like as hard as battling against government. Even if the weather is as miserable as the council, the government and austerity, let's make the Barnet Spring March BIG, big and angry: Nothing About Us Without Us!

The rally will start at 11am near Finchley Central Tube Station. We will begin to march to Friern Barnet Community Library at midday, accompanied by a double decker bus for people who have difficulty walking that far. Please note that the bus has no ramp. Wheelchair users will be buddied up with supporters and there will be stewards to assist with this at the assembly point.
The second part of the rally will be held at Friern Barnet, with music and food courtesy of the Friern Barnet Library Campaign. 
There will be speakers from all over the country: MPs, councillors, LGA members, trade unionists, and campaigners, including Tony Benn. The list of speakers, delegations and messages of support is here.
  • Please help us make this march a success: join us from 9am to prepare. We need stewards and help with:
  • fund-raising collection
  • distributing leaflets
  • decorating the bus
  • putting up posters along the march route.
If you can help, please just turn up at 9am outside Finchley Central tube station or call 07534 407703.

And for a last-minute push:
  1. Forward this newsletter to friends and family.
  2. Make sure that everyone you know knows about it!
  3. Tweet mercilessly with the hashtag #BarnetSpring and the link

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