Wednesday, 7 May 2014

16 Million and what do you get, Silence from the Tories and deeper in debt - Barnet Peoples Choir video release

On Weds 7th May, The Barnet Peoples Choir release video exposing failure of One Barnet Outsourcing to Capita. Internationally acclaimed musician Boz Boorer, who has worked with the likes of Adam Ant, Edwyn Collins and is currently musical director for Morrissey worked played double bass on the reworked version of "16 Tons" and acted as Musical Director for the choir. 

The lyrics were revamped by Mr John Sullivan and Mr Tony Solomons, who are parents of adult disabled people adversely affected by the One Barnet project, to highlight the way the local council mislead the people of Barnet by claiming that Capita were investing sixteen million pounds in systems for Barnet Council, only to reveal, after the contract was signed that the sixteen million was in fact being paid by Barnet Taxpayers. Mr Sullivan said "The whole One Barnet contract process has been one big lie from start to finish. We were told that the reason Capita were getting the contract was because they would invest in the systems only to find out that it is the Barnet taxpayer. If Capita walk away from the contract, we won't get a penny back. Capita can sell these services to other councils, using our investment and we won't see a penny of benefit. That will go to Capita shareholders".

The video highlights how Capita have taken on management of Hendon Cemetery and are treating the relatives of those buried there as an asset to be squeezed. This week it has been revealed that Capita are removing generously donated benches in the cemetery and asking relatives to remove them. They are seeking to replace them with other items which will generate more income. The video is one of a series being produced by local blogger Roger Tichborne to highlight the effects of the One Barnet Outsourcing project on local residents in Barnet, under the title "Capita - The Movie".

Mr Tichborne, who runs the Barnet Eye blog, said "I've been working on the project for several months, but when I went to pay my respects at my parents grave recently I was shocked to see just how shabby the cemetery is becoming since Capita have taken over the management. I shot some footage as I drove around and when I got home was shocked to see just how bad it looked. I completely recut the video. If anyone has wondered what the One Barnet Outsourcing means to Barnet residents, they simply need to have a look at this short film".

The video ends with footage from the Council meeting where One Barnet was agreed, showing Councillor Robert Rams, a keen advocate of One Barnet saying "If you tell an untruth enough, it becomes the truth". Tirza Waisel of the Barnet Alliance for Public Services, who helped organise the Barnet Peoples Community Choir said "Mr Rams statement at the end of the video sums up the attitude of the Barnet Conservatives towards the electorate. They have mislead the people of Barnet from the very beginning as to what One Barnet really means and this is still continuing today. On the 22 of May we need to vote out the Conservatives, elect a council that listens to its residents and workers and respects them, and regain our control over the local services".

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