We want a council that listens to local people, cares for the things that they care about, and works to achieve a better Barnet for everyone, even in these challenging times. At the moment this is not happening, and so we started this campaign to try and make it happen.
Under the Conservative council's 'One Barnet transformation programme' our local services are being put at risk or 'transformed' by being systematically cut or sold-off, or by the council increasing the charges that residents have to pay for their services.
Here are just three examples of 'One Barnet' local service 'transformation':
- the axing of sheltered housing wardens despite thousands of our residents protesting against the proposals
- the closure of Friern Barnet Library despite thousands of our residents signing a petition against the proposal
- the increase, by up to 300 per cent, of parking charges and permits in one go despite thousands of our residents signing petitions against the proposals
A key stage of the 'One Barnet' programme was the plan to gamble £1 billion of council tax payers' money by selling-off up to 70% of critical council services like planning, licensing and environmental health to the private sector. This was done with minimal scrutiny by councillors, and with no consultation of local residents. Despite a mass campaign by local residents, Labour councillors, the Trades Unions and local community groups like Barnet Alliance for Public Services the council has now signed two contracts with Capita for this huge chunk of your council services.
Now that these services have been sold-off they will be tied-up for at least 10 years with no direct control by you or your elected councillors, who will have limited ability to save these services if anything goes wrong.
The Conservative councillors running Barnet council had NO Plan B, and have saddled us with two contracts that we cannot get out of without incurring huge financial penalties unless the services fail entirely.
Our goal is to ensure that Capita do deliver what they promised in these two contracts, that residents are not adversely affected by the transfer of services to Capita, and that the council tax payer does not end up paying more.
We specifically got the council to establish a contract monitoring scrutiny committee in order to give elected councillors and the public a place to scrutinise the performance of Capita and raise concerns about service standards.
While we haven't managed to stop the council's 'One Barnet' programme it continues to affect every single person living, working and studying in the borough.
We created this website to tell everyone about the risks involved with 'One Barnet', and to help people take action against it. We want to continue to enable local people to speak out when things go wrong - whatever council service is not performing.
Thank you for your support of this campaign, whether you signed the petition for a public referendum, emailed your local councillors, came on the public demonstrations or attended council meetings.
You can continue to help by sharing your experiences of Barnet council, your local campaigns, and your ideas of how you would like Barnet to be. We want to use this resource to help build better alternatives to 'One Barnet'.
We hope you will join us to create a Better Barnet.