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.