Monday, 18 March 2013

Barnet weekly news round up

John Sullivan who is seventy years old, and father of Susan who has down's syndrome, sent an open letter to Tracey Lees, CEO of the Barnet Group and Kate Kennally, LBB Director of People who is in charge of Adult Social Services, expressing his concerns for the well-being of his daughter. He simply asks for his and his wife's peace of mind back:
Like many other parents I am growing old and whilst I had peace of mind with in-house services about the future of support services for my daughter and her peers, that peace of mind has now been destroyed. I now like many others fear for the future, now profit has become king along with the fact to "be more competitive in the market place" is the benchmark rather than quality of care.
Like many other parents and carers and people that truly care for those whose lives and future are in the hands of a very financially weak and shaky privatised LATC. I want my peace of mind back and the only way that can be achieved is to fight for the right to have the affected services brought back in-house, as was agreed from day one in the event of failure. I simply want LBB YCB to honour the agreement and undertaking quoted in my question number one above.
Like all parents blessed with a disabled child the first concern you have is "what will happen when I die", and all I am asking is for some clarity some meaningful consultation some openness some honesty some integrity, the democratic right to be heard. That will hopefully put us on the path of the restoration of the peace of mind my wife and myself and all parents of a disabled child need, and answer my simple and very direct question "what will happen to her when I die"
John Burgess the branch secretary of Unison, is no less worried: “the [one million] loan is not enough, ‘Your Choice’ submitted a proposal which if implemented would decimate low paid care workers terms & condition.”

What you can do about the collapse of Your Choice Barnet:
  1. Put a comment of support on John Sullivan’s letter.
  2. Use our Email Action to send a letter to the cabinet members, demanding the council to bring Your Choice back in-house.
  3. Sign the petition on the council's website.
  4. Help us distribute information leaflets about it on the march and afterwards.
  5. Come to the public meeting organised jointly by Your Choice Care Workers Campaign & BAPS on Thursday 11th April, 7pm, at the Greek Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road N12.
* * *
One Barnet on trial
Tuesday 19th March, 9.30am-1.30pm
Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
Please join us outside the Royal Courts of Justice to support Barnet resident Maria Nash who is challenging Barnet Council’s decision to outsource a large group of public services without properly consulting Barnet residents, the so-called One Barnet programme. Read more...
* * *
And the do not forget:

Barnet Spring is almost here. We have been working to make Barnet Spring march the biggest demonstration in North London against privatisation, cuts to services and benefits, against the austerity and against the unprecedented attack on our hard fought rights and the welfare state. This is our chance to say to the government in one strong and clear voice - Enough is enough!
Join the march, next Saturday, the 23rd, from Finchley Central station (11 am), to Friern Barnet people's library. A double decker bus will be available for those who find it difficult to walk, but please note that the bus has no ramp. Wheelchair users will be buddied up with supporters – there will be stewards to assist with this at the assembly point.
Among the confirmed speakers: Tony Benn, John McDonnell MP, Owen Jones, Christina McAnea, Shirley Franklin, Andrew Dismore and Jenny Jones. More...

What you can do to help promoting the march?
Leaflet and put up posters – last push for these this week, please email or phone for leaflets or posters, or collect from 48 Queens Ave. N3 2NP.
Like us. If you have a facebook account, you can like us – it's easy, we are very likeable. Just press this link to go to our page. And then share the page on your timeline.
Forward this e-mail to anyone you think may be interested.
Storm twitter - If you are on Twitter, then twit us with hash-tag #BarnetSpring and the link to our website:
To make it even easier, we prepared a list of possible twits (below). If you like one of them – or some of them – click on that link, and it will connect to twitter and append the text. All you have to do is to login to your twitter account and click the tweet to send.
So just Click 'n Twit

What you can do to help during the march?
We need:
  • Stewards
  • help with fund raising collection
  • help with distribution of leaflets
  • help with decoration of the bus
  • putting up posters along the march route
  • various other jobs.
If you can help please let us know how or just turn up at 9 AM outside Finchley Central tube station.
* * *
2E2 again
Apparently the council took a financial stability survey of 2E2, the data centre provider which went into administration, the same month it collapsed. The report stated unequivocally that the company is sound and safe just weeks before it went into liquidation. Makes one wonder about the robustness of those carrying out the survey on behalf of the council, and whether these are the same ones who advised the councillors on the financial viability of One Barnet as a whole...
To make things even worse, instead of hiring the laid off (and unpaid) support staff of 2E2, who are familiar with the council's equipments and procedures once 2E2 collapsed, the council decided to take Capita ITS - which is not doing brilliantly either – without any tendering and on higher charges. Read the Barnet bloggers shared statement here.

Your Choice Barnet
During staff consultation meeting held at Flower Lane for Your Choice Barnet staff, it came to light that “in a procurement exercise YCB had established they could find a cheaper IT provider. LBB stepped in to say that IT should remain as provided through the Council (Capita) and YCB need only pay the amount they had established through their procurement exercise. LBB will make up the difference (!)
In other words LBB is prepared to subsidise a service when it means securing a contract for Capita, but this would then seem to be at the cost of staff working for YCB!” The full report is here.

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