Monday, 12 September 2011



Andrew Dismore, Labour’s  candidate for the London Assembly for Barnet and Camden has today challenged  Brian Coleman over speculation that Mr Coleman is no longer wholeheartedly behind the Council’s “One Barnet” plan to contract out the Council’s  services ( text of Mr Dismore’s email to Mr Coleman below).
Mr Dismore said:
“there has been considerable speculation that Mr Coleman is frightened of the electoral consequences of the “One Barnet” privatisation programme and now has cold feet about backing it.
The suggestion is that he is working to have it quietly dropped.
It is time for him to come clean: does he support One Barnet or not?
Is he really prepared to take the risks to services that residents will face if this crazy scheme goes ahead? And if so why has he been so quiet about the plan?
With the London elections now approaching, people are entitled to know just where he stands.
So I now challenge him publically to withdraw his support for One Barnet or accept the consequences if it goes ahead”
Contact Andrew Dismore 07957 625 813 
Text of email form Mr Dismore to Mr Coleman:
Dear Brian,

the One Barnet Programme now in train intends to contract out the full range of Council services including:
Adults social care
Housing strategy
Building control
Land charges
Trading standards
Environmental health
Customer services
Revenue and benefits
Human resources
Information systems
Registrars services

There has been no evidence so  far that this privatisation will result in its  stated  aims being fulfilled. .

There has been no explanation of  how services will be protected from becoming fragmented, nor how “savings” will be  achieved,  nor  how risk will be  properly transferred to private sector providers. Moreover there is a  huge financial risk to the Council from loss of contributions to the Pension Scheme. Little consideration has been given to the interests of Council staff either, who are mere pawns on your chessboard..

I am sure you have seen the suggestions in local blogs that you and Boris Johnson are frightened by the electoral consequences for you, for next year’s London elections, should Barnet Council, in which you play a senior role in  the leadership, carry on with these ill considered and clearly unpopular plans.  No doubt this also helps explain the lack of publicity for  the scheme and that there has been no consultation with  local residents on what the “new relationship between the council and citizens”  should look like, and has not laid down the governance arrangements that would ensure democratic accountability of these services..  The emasculation of the area forums  does not presage much of a commitment to public engagement generally.

I hope the bogs are right and that you now have cold feet about “One Barnet”. What this means for your and my electoral prospects we will need to see next year, but what is clear is that the people of Barnet are not convinced and want to see the plan dropped.

Accordingly, to avoid further speculation, will you now please confirm your position: are you fully behind “ One Barnet” or are you working to have it dropped as Council policy?


Andrew Dismore

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