SACK COLEMAN – RESTORE DEMOCRACY IN BARNET
Pro-Democracy Rally @ The People's Library
Saturday 28 April 11-1, Friern Barnet Green, outside the library
Followed by mass leafleting on Saturday and Sunday
6 items in today's newsletter.
Harassment and intimidation of campaigners in Barnet
Our letter to residents of Camden – Don't vote Coleman
Barnet council Audit Committee meeting 26 April
Pro-Democracy rally Saturday 28 April
Mass Don't Vote Coleman leafleting Saturday 28 + Sunday 29 April
CPZ Action posters for your windows
1. If we needed another proof for the culture of intimidation harboured by Barnet councillors or to their mad attempts to strangulate what remained of our local democracy and shut critics up, we got it just in time before the elections. Courtesy of the current administration, just to make sure we remember who NOT to vote for...
Helen Michael, owner of Cafe Buzz in North Finchley and a campaigner against the extortionate parking charges on behalf of Barnet traders, was served yesterday with a notice in relation with the traders' posters calling NOT to vote for Coleman. It is clear that this is yet another attempt to instil fear in residents who dare speaking up against damaging council policies. You can read about it in The Barnet Eye's blog from yesterday, or follow the developments http://barneteye.blogspot.co.uk/ and also in the Hendon & Finchely Times.
2. Just to make sure our fellow citizens in Camden also know who their GLA representative is, we submitted a letter to the two Camden local papers, the Camden New Journal and Ham & High. Not sure if it was printed, but here it is just in case – feel free to circulate to your acquaintances in Camden:
Barnet Calling: Don't Vote Coleman
Brian Coleman seeks re-election as a GLA member for Camden & Barnet. Camden residents may not know Brian Coleman as well as we, Barnet residents, do.
Here are some facts:
As a Cabinet member for transport and the environment Coleman is behind
300% increase of parking charges in residential areas and high streets, causing isolation of house bound residents and killing local commerce.
payment system of cashless meters which discriminates against wheelchair users and increases risk of mobile phones and credit cards mugging from elderly and disabled people.
removal of traffic calming measures including near schools, exposing children and elderly pedestrians to risk
private hire of parks despite 97% public opposition in consultation
Jeopardising some community festivals while favouring the one he supports
one of the largest waste processing site in Europe, planned in Pinkham Way next to homes and schools, exposing all North London's residents to pollution and traffic chaos
a threat of raising allotment rents by 300%, forcing all Barnet allotment sites into Self-Management
Expressed in derogatory terms his a wish to not provide transport for vulnerable people (who he called 'these people') whilst expecting residents to foot the bill for his own huge taxi bills
told a constituent single mother facing eviction to "live in the real world" when she asked for his advice
routinely bullies and offends residents, holds democracy in contempt and disregards residents. Coleman was found guilty on several occasions of treating the public with disrespect and refused to apologise
he is facing an investigation into allegations of misusing his parking permit
If you find this man suitable to represent us, please vote for him. In Barnet, even Conservative supporters say they will not vote for him.
Tirza Waisel, on behalf of Barnet Alliance for Public Services; John Sullivan, on behalf of Campaign Against Destruction of Disabled Support Services; Vicky Churchill, Chairman, Finchley Carnival Ltd; Helen Michael, on behalf of the traders of the London borough of Barnet; David Attfield, on behalf of Barnet CPZ Action; Philip Fletcher; Fiona Brickwood, Chair, Friern Barnet Co-Action; Benjamin Alfred Samuel; Mike Gee (Greenacre Project); Rosie Canning (Greenacre Writers)
3. In our last newsletter we pointed out the outrageous findings regarding the council's performance, as highlighted by Mr Reasonable in his blog, before the Barnet Council Audit Committee meeting.
Well, the Audit Committee meeting took place last night, where we heard Mr Reasonable puts to the committee some excellent and very reasonable concerns, and saw Lord Palmer, the chair, almost exploding in his polite way in anger caused by a senior official, Craig Cooper, Commercial Director of LBB, who earns quite a bit of money. Lord Palmer hardly kept his civilised manner when the Mr Cooper admitted that he had not read the discussed report before someone else signed it on his behalf... This was his unsuccessful attempt to pass the buck, when some serious security problems with the access to Children Services' database were exposed in the audit report. Whoever actually signed the audit report, this serious matter remains Mr Cooper's buck and ultimately the council's responsibility.
You can read the beginning of Mrs Angry's report from last night's Audit Committee on Broken Barnet, and as Mrs Angry promises – there is more to come, so follow her blog.
4. Pro-Democracy Rally, Saturday 28 April 11-1, Friern Barnet Green, outside the library
Please join BAPS, Save Friern Barnet Library campaign, the newly formed Democracy For Barnet campaign and other campaigns and residents for a pro democracy rally on Saturday 28 April, followed by mass leafleting to prevent Brian Coleman, one of the architects of The One Barnet Programme of privatisation, being re-elected as our GLA representative.
As you know, Barnet Council decided to close this community library on 4 April despite massive public opposition (lack of democracy), and of the ongoing Save Friern Barnet Library campaign of local residents with support of the trade unions and Barnet Alliance for Public Services, for the last 12 months.
When emerging from the library after the sit-in which delayed the closure of the library by a few hours, it was clear that there is a need to build on the strength of feelings in the community, and a ‘Protest Pop up Library' was organised.
The campaign to reopen the library continues and the protest People's
Library event at the last two weekends was a success.
Barnet residents value the services we receive from professional council staff
in this case professional librarians – and appreciate the unions for their
support. BAPS have always opposed the privatisation of any of our public
services and the recent fast erosion of our local democracy. The two are
closely linked, for the less scrutiny the public is allowed, the easier is for
councillors, executives and highly paid consultants to privatise, cut services
and funding to community organisations, and waste public money on
unaccountable contracts with private profiteers.
That is the background for the Pro Democracy Public Services Rally this Saturday 28 April. We hope that a united voice of residents and union members will send a strong and clear message to Barnet council.
Watch this short video to get the community vibe.
After the rally there is going to be a mass leafleting campaign across the borough for the GLA elections.
5. #SackBrian Weekend of Action – Vote Anyone BUT Coleman
• Are you fed up with Brian Coleman?
• Do you want to stop him being your London Assembly member?
• Will you stand up for public services, for our local economy and for democracy?
Make a stand by joining us this weekend as we deliver 10,000 leaflets to
A recent poll shows Coleman to be behind Labour. His seat is the most at risk. This is why we need the biggest turnout for Saturday and Sunday’s day of action. Join us tomorrow and make sure we topple Coleman and his hateful regime.
ACTION – mass elections leaflets distribution:
When: Saturday 1-4 pm (after the rally) Where: The British Legion (next to FB library) N11 3DS
Coordinators: Tirza (07957-486 379) & Keith Martin
Sunday – 11-4 Cafe Buzz, 783 High Road N12 8JY
Coordinators: David Braniff (07717-531 164), Julian Silverman, Joanna Fryer
Can’t make it but want to take leaflets to deliver down your street or through
your organisation? Then let us know by filling out this two minute survey:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LC9PSVN or call David on 07717531164 or
Wards to target if possible: Coppets, Mill Hill, Underhill, West Finchley, West Hendon, Woodhouse, Childs Hill, Hale, and High Barnet.
6. Barnet CPZ Action Group and the Barnet Traders have both produced brilliant posters with the same bottom line that we share: Vote Anyone But Coleman.
Email us if you want to get them by email to print and put in your window, or download from their websites.