'One Barnet' in YOUR words

It's been three weeks since the launch of the Better Barnet campaign, and the website has had over 7,000 page views, over 300 people have signed the petition for a referendum on 'One Barnet', and over 150 emails have been sent to local councillors lobbying them to oppose the council's 'One Barnet' programme.

We've had blogs written by Barnet UNISON's John Burgess, Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, the Chair of Save Friern Barnet Library Group, local residents and campaigners, and hundreds of comments or tweets have been made by people concerned about the council's 'One Barnet' plan to gamble £1 billion of council tax payers money by selling-off 70% of criticial council services with no real scrutiny or consultation of residents.

Here are some concerns that local people are expressing about 'One Barnet' in comments posted on the website. This is 'One Barnet' in YOUR words:

"As a disabled resident I am very concerned about outsourcing, in particular the outsourcing of home help and meals of wheels etc. In the past I have worked for the government and have experience of when outsourcing goes wrong and it often ends up costing more money and is to the detriment of tax payers/service users." - Caroline Payne.

"Mismanagement by the private sector is the norm rather than the exception – high profile cases like G4S/Olympics is what we see in the media, but there are hundreds of examples up and down the country. Local councils are for local services – they should not surrender their responsibilities to third parties, most likely multi-nationals with no local loyalties." - Ketan Shah.

"Stop the reduction in funding of Barnet’s Childrens’ Centres. It is an essential service- we will be paying the cost of these cuts for generations to come." - Joanna Yong.

"This plan clearly shows that Barnet Council lacks any sense or decency with the schemes they keep bringing forward. They do not have any care or concern for the people of Barnet but merely serve their misguided political dogma. These services do not belong to Barnet Council they belong to the people of Barnet. BARNET COUNCIL DROP THE ONE BARNET PROGRAMME NOW!!!" - John Price.

"I am appalled at the prospect of local services being handed over to private companies, looking for lucrative opportunities rather than providing caring services for the public." - Mary Davies.

"This will NOT save Barnet council tax payers any money. It will most probably end up being a costly catalogue of botched contracts. Local people will lose their jobs with the council and the local economy will suffer. The Conservatives on Barnet Council were not mandated to bring these idealogical, sweeping changes in. In areas such as local planning the outsourcing will be leave us open to conflicts of interest as some of the possible suppliers also own planning consultancies who act on behalf of plc developers who have their sights set on local developments. It is a crazy, bad idea and I can’t believe some of the Tories locally don’t know it but are too spineless to stand up to their party." - Suzy Fitgerald.

"I believe that as a resident this is to my detriment with nothing offered to me in return." - Athos Athanasiou

"It is very disturbing that there does not seem to have been any attempt to engage residents in discussions about these proposals. I am cross that a 10 year contract!!! will be offered even though we vote every 4. If things turn out badly, it will be impossible to bring in changes for 10 years!!! We deserve a referendum." - Susan Rothstein.

"After the Tax on parking outside our own homes, forcing everyone to have and register a mobile phone just to use public parking. Not to mention the millions lost in Icelandic Banks. I would not trust this council to run a bath, let alone trust them to protect our services. One Barnet sounds like can excuse to farm off the services that help others and watch them disappear under the banner of progress." - Ciaran Breen.

"Surely the omnishambles of G4S says it all – outsourcing doesn’t work. Furthermore, I want my council tax to pay for local services provided by my local council, not to line the pockets of greedy chief executives and shareholders." - Ruth Nyman

"Where is the evidence this will work? Where are the risks being planned and provided for? There is so much against this plan – including secrecy and unaccountability, which on their own should rule it out." - A.M. Poppy.

"The nonsense that is One Barnet will have a devastating impact on the local economy for which local tax payers will be footing the bill for generations to come." - Paul Edwards.

"As a life-long resident and a former employee of Barnet Council I am absolutely horrified at what is being done to this borough with no input at all being allowed from the community." - C. Herrmann.

"One Barnet is a massive financial risk for every Barnet resident. It is a subject the council refuses to discuss, shrouded in secrecy and if it goes ahead will put hundreds of local jobs at risk. Worst of all there is a very real chance that it will fail to deliver any of the savings but will have cost tens of millions in wasted legal and consultancy fees." - John Dix.

"I dread to think what will happen to Barnet if Mike Freer’s One Barnet idea goes ahead – everything outsourced and call centre staff hundreds of miles away who know nothing about Barnet." - Chris Heneghan.

"OUR Barnet not ONE Barnet." - Theresa Musgrove.

"The council tax payers of Barnet should decide whether or not we want this out-sourcing of council services, not the council cabinet." - Anna Thulin.

"The size and cost of this programme is of such significance that the residents of Barnet need to have their say on how THEIR services will be run in future. This is too important to wait until the next election. Let the community speak." - Adam Goldstein.

This is just a snapshot of what you - local residents, traders and council tax payers - think about the council's 'One Barnet' programme.

But time is running out, and these contracts will be signed probably before the end of the year so if we want to stop 'One Barnet' we need to tell more people about it and the risks involved, and we need to make our voices heard in the Town Hall.

You can continue to help by emailing your councillor, signing the petition (if you haven't already) and sharing the campaign with your colleagues, friends and family.

We will continue to help you keep this critical issue on the agenda by providing you with more tools to campaign against 'One Barnet'.  In the next few days we will be launching a street campaign pack on the website which you can download and use in your street and neighbourhood.

In the words of Keith Martin, local campaigner against Library closures, "Let's keep it up!".

Thank you for all your support so far. If we work together we can achieve anything.

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Showing 6 reactions

@BrokenBarnet tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-11 18:39:47 +0100
Look what we've achieved together http://t.co/6xD0xQGD via @BetterBarnet | Must read for all #Barnet residents!!! #oneBarnet #OurBarnet
@ retweeted @BetterBarnet 2012-08-11 14:51:48 +0100
Look what we've achieved together! This is'One Barnet' in YOUR words http://t.co/rEEdhBcD
@ mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-08-11 14:13:23 +0100
Look what we've achieved together http://t.co/6xD0xQGD via @BetterBarnet | Must read for all #Barnet residents!!! #oneBarnet #OurBarnet
@ mentioned @BetterBarnet link to this page. 2012-08-11 13:55:31 +0100
"@BetterBarnet Look what we've achieved together! This is #OneBarnet in YOUR words http://t.co/bgGWJJ75" incredible comments by local people
@BarnetLabour tweeted link to this page. 2012-08-11 13:48:19 +0100
This is 'One Barnet' in YOUR words - let's share it and make our voices heard! http://t.co/TBOZaDJH
published this page in News 2012-08-11 13:30:00 +0100
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