Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Make a stand against the NSCSO

Today's the day.

Cabinet will vote on whether to approve the NSCSO contract at 7pm at Hendon Town Hall.
I urge people to come to Hendon Town Hall this evening to show the Tories how much people don't want this. They need to know that they will lose the next election badly if they don't listen to ordinary residents. They always say that the campaign against One Barnet is led by the same left wing activists (As if that means they have no rights to be heard). I know this isn't true, When we talk to voters, even Tory ones, there is deep concern.

I understand there will be a petitioning of North London Business Park at 7.30-10.30 this morning as well.

Conservative Councillors need to understand that there is an alternative. They don't need to do this. I have never questioned the sincerity or decency of Conservative Councillors, but I sincerely believe they are thoroughly wrong. They must look seriously at service transformation, they must look seriously at a public sector comparitor and they must consult the public to ask them what they think.

No one doubts the challenges ahead, but the options before us are not the right way forward. We got an email from Andrew Dismore AM about how he is working on getting out of the contracting failures on London Underground. He says that once a contract is signed, there is no way back, even if it goes wrong. And the failure of the contract should be the foremost concern at the front of the Cabinet's mind. They tell us it is reckless to carry on the way we are, but it is even more reckless to go ahead with One Barnet, with so little scrutiny, so little consultation, and so little consideration of alternatives.

Mr Dismore also raised the question which I feel is most pertinent to us, which is what is being handed on. If there is a failure, there is no council to take things back. Once we go in, they take everything, and we will never have the capacity to bring things back wholesale if the contract fails, whatever these nonsensical guarantees, and non existent assurances.

But we all, as residents, have a duty to the borough as well. We need to stand up and be counted. I hope that if you agree with me, you will be sitting next to me in Committee rooms 1 and 2 tomorrow.

UPDATE: Apologies, I had heard the meeting was to be held at 6pm, rather than the normal time of 7pm. Needless to say, it is a genuine error on my part, and I ought to have checked the frontsheet when I read the papers. Many thanks to Daniel Hope of Barnet Bugle for letting me know my error.

I have cut the following paragraph, as it is innaccurate, however I stand by my criticism of the treatment of staff in general. The staff I met outside NLBP this morning as we gave them leaflets seemed to agree with me. But nontheless, apologies for the innaccuracy.

"That in itself is a cheap trick, holding the meeting an hour earlier, making it harder for campaigners and activists to come along, specifically their own staff at NLBP. I said at last weeks Budget and Performance meeting that they treated the staff abysmally, and this is just one example."