Today is D Day for the One Barnet project. A disabled Barnet resident, Maria Nash has asked for a judicial review of the scheme. To achieve legal aid, Maria's solicitors had to prove that they had a valid case and having seen much of the paperwork (although not all unfortunately), it appears to me that Maria has a very strong case. What has happened to the council to get to a point where their own vulnerable citizens are having to take them to court, merely to get consulted?
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the story is the awful campaign launched by Barnet to try and deflect attention from their failings. Claims that Maria is costing the taxpayer £1 million a month have been made, completely ignoring the fact that many believe that One Barnet is a huge gamble and the savings in the business case are complete fiction. It's only March and we've already seen two cases of outsourcing in Barnet where huge savings were claimed, only for the schemes to go wrong and the taxpayer having to step in with a bale out. IT supplier 2e2 have gone bust and the taxpayer picking up huge charges and Your Choice Barnet needing a £1 bale out simply to keep afloat. It seems that the myopic Council cannot see this evidence which is under their noses.
I cannot make it to the High Court to see the proceedings, but I wish Maria the very best of luck, for all our sakes.