Thursday, 5 August 2010

Allowancegate : Barnet is Cutting Social Care to pay for Hillans pay rise

Late last night I received an email from a staunch Barnet Tory. This was from someone who's family have been involved with the Tory party in Barnet for years, hosted fundraising events, helping out at elections, the sort of stuff which makes the party work.

My correspondent was livid. They have a friend who is a social worker.The friend was telling them that they had received instructions from Barnet Council, their employer. The jist of these is that Barnet Council are now going to only fund backup services where it is critical. They are looking to reduce contact hours with clients, to the bare minimum legally permitted.

I have a few names to remind Barnet Council of Baby P, Victoria Columbie ..... All of these children died as a result of failures of social services. Whenever cost cutting collides with social care, the result is that people die. Vulnerable people. Children. The elderly. The sick. The infirm. Care packages are put together by medical professionals. When these are cut by officials with titles such as "reviewing officers" it is patently clear that the actual needs of vulnerable people are being neglected.

If a home visit is deemed necessary three times a day, if a reviewing officer cuts this and then the well being of the person is effected in a detrimental manner, Barnet Council is guilty of negligence. I urge the friends, relatives, neighbours of anyone who is receives social care from Barnet Council to ask for a written justification for any changes to the social welfare package. Agree to nothing until this has happened, threaten legal action if need be. If the changes result in accident, injury, stress related illness or death, then sue Barnet Council for negligence. I would also urge anyone who has a relative who is affected by cuts to contact BARNET UNISON. They will be most happy to help as well.

You know what makes me sick about this. Lynne Hillan used to be in charge of the Social Services portfolio at Barnet Council. She was there when they outsourced the Meals on Wheels contract to Sodexho, resulting in many elderly people, including my own mum, not getting their meals. She knows first hand what the effects of these changes are. She doesn't care at all.

What does she care about at Barnet Council. Well she cares quite a lot about increasing her allowances. She used the party whip to ensure that, not only were these protected, but they were massively increased. She's happy to vote herself a massive pay rise, whilst cutting care to the most desperately needy in Barnet.

I've been fighting these cuts as best I can from my blog. We've done well to make this a big issue locally. I can't do this on my own. I'm imploring all of you to really start fighting back. Keep sending the letters to the local paper, contact your councillors. If you work for Barnet join a Union. If you get your care cut, threaten legal action. If you are a blogger, write a blog today saying it's unacceptable. If you are a retired blogger, like Status Quo have one more reunion tour. I am imploring any workers of Barnet Council who have received letters telling them to cut services to the people of Barnet. If they contain no personal detail , then Scan them. Email them to me. I won't put any details that can identify you, but I will fight your corner. I've already seen a couple and they make me sick - CLICK HERE TO EMAIL ME. Please do not send any that contain specific information about individuals, only ones which detail non specific changes to the system. If the letters contain specific details, which are private and you want me to know, just send me a potted summary in an email. Together we can make a change.

7 comments:

Broadway Blogger said...

We will carry the story again today on BROADWAY BLOG which is gathering readers daily like your blog. We are not political but this effects every business and person in Mill Hill.

Just a word of warning to all bloggers that there does seem to be a cull of bloggers taking place in Central Europe which can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdJh64Odlw8

The tactic is to declare a blogger insane if the authorities dont like what they write :-) A novel idea which I think was pioneered towards dissenters in the 1930s !

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Rog

Public expenditure at national and local level has to be cut - everyone knows and understands that, but from what you have described above, it seems that in Barnet the people making the cuts know the price of everything and the value of nothing. There is so much fat within the council that there are massive savings and efficiencies which could be made without even getting close to cutting essential front line services.

Given how many of these services are used by relatives of the ruling clique, you would have thought that even Barnet’s dim witted councillors would have figured this out for themselves.

Moaneybat said...

And look what happened in Europe in the 1930's!

Mrs Angry said...

As you have said before, this is a war: a war for democracy and justice. It is a war against greed, dishonesty, and the large scale vandalisation of our community. Under the pretext of a bogus economic argument which seeks to cut our essential local services to the bone, a priviliged group of individuals have betrayed their own electorate and indulged their own selfish interests. I have not heard a single person outside of this group seek to justify what they have done, and it is up to the rest of us to continue to protest at their action until they are held accountable.

baarnett said...

Maybe we can be charitable.

The new intake is innocent, and will have to be the basis of the new leadership for the Barnet Conservative Party - and a lot sooner than waiting for their elders to die off.

Presumably there is a "middle layer" above them, not in the cabinet, who will actually form the replacements for the top brass, maybe by the end of the year.

The cabinet members who justified the rises, as quoted in last week's Times, are political toast. Which is presumably why some of the cabinet successfully avoided the Times journalists instead.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Broadway Blogger

Interesting video clip. Jane B├╝rgermeister should take her case to the European Court of Human Rights. She complains about the 'judges' - but actually it's the law that is at fault.

Even in this country scientific debate can be stifled under the threat of law suits. We need something like the First Amendment.

Moaneybat said...

DCmd

No surprise why the Founding Fathers and Paine got on that boat and then finally kicked the mother country out

With you on the First Amendment.