Barnet Labour call for termination of Capita contracts after fraud report suggests breach of contract

Following today’s publication of the audit report on the £2m Capita fraud case, Barnet Labour are calling for the termination of both Capita contracts with Barnet Council (CSG and Re Ltd).

They are also calling for the Leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Cornelius, and his Deputy Leader Cllr Dan Thomas to resign.

The damning report reveals major failings in financial controls within Capita that allowed the fraud to take place and have serious implications for the future of the Council.

The report outlines the failings of five financial safety nets, any one of which, had they been functioning effectively, would have prevented the fraud.

Failings identified as enabling the fraud include: the perpetrator being given inappropriate access to financial systems; insufficient control over the processing of transactions, which meant that 62 inappropriate payments were made without being challenged; a lack of robust challenge and scrutiny at an operational level; and insufficient oversight by the Council.

Shockingly, the fraud was revealed not by the Council or Capita, but by suspicions raised by the perpetrator’s bank.

These failures show insufficient oversight by the Council, despite repeated calls from the Labour Group for tighter contract management.

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said: “This is incompetence of scandalous proportions, and looks like a breach of contract. Barnet Council must act to terminate these two contracts and take back control of Capita-run services.

“The Council are clearly not able to manage this kind of commercial relationship, and Capita have demonstrated they are not able to run key services to a basic standard.

“Cllrs Cornelius and Thomas must also take responsibility for what is ultimately a failure of their ideology driven policy. Their misplaced faith in Capita has ensured that the Council has insufficient financial oversight of outsourced services. And as they are responsible for the council’s finances and regeneration schemes, this fraud happened directly under their noses.

“Barnet Labour Councillors repeatedly warned of the risk of outsourcing so many services to the same organisation. Time after time this has been proved right.

“The fraud case is yet another incident in a never-ending saga of financial mismanagement. Barnet residents deserve better.”

Ends.
Notes: A copy of the Grant Thornton report can be found here: https://www.barnet.gov.uk/…/finance…/Financial-controls.html

Amigo Month Event – Friday 5 October 2018

Friday 5 October 2018

19:00 – 20:30

TUC London, East and South East (LESE) Celebrates Amigo Month 

TUC Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

Amigo Month is a 5-week period of hundreds of events celebrating the history, culture and contribution of the UK’s three million Spanish/Portuguese speakers, and opens on Monday 7 September, National Day in Brazil and Mozambique. Amigo Month commemorates friendship and promotes cultural, artistic, social, economic and tourist links amongst the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world and Latin America with Britain and remembers the history and heritage of the “amigo” communities that have lived in Britain and London for thousands of years.

Please register: 020 7467 1218 / lese@tuc.org.uk

This event is supported by LESE International Affairs Committee 

New school year, same funding crisis

As schools across the country prepare to open their gates, the school funding crisis is deepening.
91% of schools will have lower per pupil funding in 2019/20 than in 2015/16. Every day headteachers will have to make difficult decisions – decisions about which basic supplies they can afford, which staff will have reduced hours because there’s simply not enough money.
But don’t just take our word for it. Courageous heads like Robin Bevan are speaking out about how these cuts are affecting children.

National unity demonstration against fascism and racism

  • Saturday 17 November, Central London
  • Share and invite to the facebook event here

We are experiencing the biggest rise in support for fascism, the far right, racism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism since the 1930s. In Britain fascists and racists are mobilising on a scale not seen for decades. We must unite against this threat, which is why we are calling a national demonstration against fascism and racism on Saturday 17 November in London.

The demonstration is initiated by Stand Up To Racism, co-sponsored by Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism, and is supported by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell amongst others.  More details will follow.

The recent rise in attacks by the far right has created a real thirst for a mass anti-racist mobilisation in the spirit of the Anti Nazi League. Now is the time to take to the streets.
There is an urgent need to build a movement against racism and fascism. Help us mobilise for 17 November by joining Stand Up to Racism.

Unseat Bob Blackman

JOIN MOMENTUM, ASH SARKAR, OWEN JONES AND OTHERS

Harrow East’s Tory MP Bob Blackman is a right-wing extremist. He opposed equal marriage, called for the reintroduction of the anti-gay Section 28, has retweeted anti-Muslim hatred and a post by fascist leader Tommy Robinson, as well as backing the bedroom tax, austerity, cuts to taxes on the rich, trebling tuition fees, privatisation and other unjust Tory policies.

Last year his majority collapsed from 4,757 to just 1,757 in the 2017 election. That was down to Jeremy Corbyn’s inspiring alternative – but it was also down to campaigning by you.

The #Unseat campaign has the Tories on the run. Thanks partly to our campaigning the local elections, Trafford Tory council was unseated, Labour won the popular vote in Wandsworth and got the best result for 22 years, Labour won 4 seats in Portsmouth, and Labour nearly matched the Tory vote in Westminster.

According to leaked messages, Iain Duncan Smith – who hammered disabled people and low-paid workers – is on the run because of #Unseat.

We can unseat Bob Blackman whenever an election is called – and get a Labour MP who champions the majority, as well as a Jeremy Corbyn-led government. Labour has a brilliant candidate – Pamela Fiztpatrick – who will fight for the many, not the few.

Never campaigned before? Great! Most haven’t, we’ll give you support and pair you up with an experienced campaigner.

Spread the word and see you then!

RENDEZ VOUS ADDRESS: The Training Academy, Harrow Civic Centre, 7 Station Road, Harrow HA1 2XY

September Barnet Trades Union Council

At our first meeting back from Summer, we are glad to have a guest speaker. As Barnet Tories threaten to issue a completely anti-democratic ban on groups and individuals who support Palestinian rights from public buildings in the borough, we will be hosting Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, to talk about the massive attack on Palestinians and solidarity with them.

Agenda:
1 Attendance and apologies
2 Review minutes of previous meeting
3 Matters Arising from the Minutes
4 Ben Jamal from Palestine Solidarity Campaign
5 The crisis of Childrens’ and other services in Barnet

Facebook event here.

National Education Union (NEU) sponsors LMHR at Notting Hill Carnival x Smokey Joe Roadshow

The August Bank Holiday is almost here, and that means its time for Notting Hill Carnival!
With the hostile environment that has continued to fuel anti-immigrant rhetoric, the continuing fight for justice for Grenfell, the Windrush Generation crisis, and the rise in racialised hate crimes–Carnvial’s legacy is more significant than ever.
Carnival embodies, celebrates and highlights the positive impact the diversity and multiculturalism has made.
Join us at the Love Music Hate Racism Carnival Float! If you are not already booked and would like to come, book online HERE
You can also come along and book on the day

CND Trade Unions: Trident and Jobs

Trident’s replacement will cost at least £205 billion of public money. A staggering figure, particularly when we consider the nuclear weapons system has no real military value and is useless in the face of the real threats we face today, such as terrorism, climate change and cyber-attacks and could be rendered obsolete by new technology. But many try to argue that this investment is worth it because of the jobs the nuclear weapon system sustains.

People’s livelihoods matter. But an objective appraisal of the jobs associated with Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system, and its replacement will demonstrate that these are among the most costly jobs ever created. By simply re-directing a proportion of the money allocated to the Trident replacement programme to other industries, it would be possible to create many more, highly specialised and well-paid jobs. This transition programme would directly benefit those currently working on Britain’s nuclear weapons. Society as a whole would benefit from the shift to more productive jobs. And of course, humanity as a whole would benefit from the reduction in the numbers of weapons of mass destruction.

 

Read report here: Trident-and-Jobs

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