Saturday, 6 April 2013

Can somebody please explain the point of Your Choice Barnet for the readers of the Barnet Eye?

I have been deluged with emails concerning the issue of Your Choice Barnet in the past week - for those of you who are unfamiliar with Your Choice Barnet, it is a private company created by the Council to run social care. Some of these were from relatives of mine concerned about proposed changes to the care package of a cousin of mine, who is dependent on Barnet Council.

I started trying to write a blog summarising the issues, but failed miserably to write anything coherent at all. The reason was that I can find nothing which in any way, shape or form tells me why Barnet Council set the organisation up in the manner it has. There are all sorts of platitudes dating back from when the organisation was created. There are all sorts of bold statements about how it will be better. There is a business case that has been shown to have been dreamed up by the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

What there is not, anywhere is a properly argued logical case for what the council has done. The council seems to say "we had no choice but to do this". Anyone knows that there is always a choice. What they actually mean is that they chose not to put the choices in the public domain, consult us and let the democratic will of the people of Barnet decide. For an organisation called "Your Choice" it is rather ironic, don't you thing.

It seems to me that the justification is that it "can be run at arms length" and not be "tied up with bureaucracy". When we translate this into English, running at arms length means without control or interference from the democratically elected members of the Council who may want to ensure the people they represent get a good service. When they say "tied up with bureaucracy they mean that corners can be cut and things bodged. As the organisation needed a million pound bale out by the council, there certainly are holes in the bucket when it comes to making a financial case.

Now I know lots of people at Your Choice Barnet read this blog. You must be aware of some benefits (aport from to the pay packets of the newly created directors) of the setup. Please be kind and share this.

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