RMT campaign against cuts to London Overground ticket office hours

The RMT is currently campaigning against planned cuts to ticket office opening hours across the London Overground network.

Last year, the operator of London Overground, Arriva Rail London (owned by the German State Railways) planned to close 51 ticket offices on the network. Because of the level of opposition from passengers (there were around 6000 responses opposing the proposals), the Mayor of London announced in April 2019 he would halt the closures.

However, London Overground is now planning to cut ticket office opening hours across the network to the bare minimum – effectively achieving its original goal by stealth. These plans amount to closures in all but name – many stations are facing cuts of 80% or more compared to their current hours.

If these cuts go ahead, the RMT firmly believes that:

  • Stations will become less safe, secure and accessible
  • Passengers will not be able to access all ticket types and services at machines
  • Many people, including disabled and elderly passengers, would struggle to purchase tickets and get advice and assistance at the station
  • It will be easier for London Overground to close more ticket offices in the future.

The RMT has urged the Mayor to use his powers to intervene and halt these damaging cuts, but to date, this has not happened.

Therefore, the RMT has convened a protest at which we will be calling for the Mayor, TfL and London Overground to halt these proposals.

The Demonstration is taking place at 9am on Wednesday 20th November, outside City Hall, London, SE1 2AA.

The RMT has already held a number of successful action days at London Overground stations, distributing postcards for passengers to send to the Mayor, opposing the cuts.

We are grateful for the support already given to the campaign by a number of Trades Councils and anything further you could do to support the campaign and/or the demonstration would be much appreciated.

If you are able to distribute leaflets and postcards locally, please email Sophie Ward (s.ward@rmt.org.uk) and we will arrange for these to be sent to you.

SaveOurColleges Action: Central London Thursday 17 October 2019 @ 1pm

Start: Thursday 17 October 2019 @ 1:00 PM

March and rally in London to hear a range of speakers. Assembly is at the Emmanuel Centre London 9 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 3DW at 1pm ,

and then a march to the Department for Education (DfE) Sanctuary Buildings 20 Great Smith Street London SW1P 3BT 

to present an outstanding invoice for the amount still needed for the sixth form sector not covered by the Prime Minister’s empty promises.

Kick out Capita!

Join the lobby of the P&R committee
Monday 17 June, 6pm
Hendon Town Hall 
Following the scandals of the £2million fraud, a report was commissioned by the council (the Grant Thornton report). This report found that there were  “significant financial control weaknesses…“poor accounting controls”. There are also other scandals such as of the overspend on the Capita contract by £145.9 million and the excessive and expensive use of agency staff. All this leads to continuously deteriorating services and the waste of public money.

John McDonnell Shadow Chancellor said: “The Grant Thornton (GT) review of the two Capita contracts in Barnet provides yet more evidence of the folly of privatisation of public services. When I read “significant financial control weaknesses…“poor accounting controls” in the GT review it summed up what I have been saying about the current Tory government.

External Auditors in May also reported that Capita “don’t have a particularly strong control environment”, the auditor reported, and then stated that Capita were “not minded” to provide assurance over systems running processes on Barnet Council’s behalf.

As a result of all these indictments, Barnet’s P&R committee agreed to review the Capita contract including the option of bringing back services in-house. Despite the failure of the contract with Capita, The report for the P&R committee meeting on 17 June accepts the current relationship with Capita  and accepts that there is no alternative but to carry on with a failing contract. It is Barnet residents, and council staff, that will continue to suffer as a result of the Tories’ illusion that privatisation works.  In Barnet, the evidence of the Capita contract shows that it does not.

For a full analysis of the report to the committee and of the Capita contracts so far, read Mr Reasonable’s latest blog here.

Kick out Capita!
Join the lobby of the P&R committee
Monday 17 June, 6pm, Hendon Town Hall 

11 June – No Silence Please! It’s Barnet’s Library Review

Please join us on Tuesday 11 June 2019 at 6:30pm at Hendon Town Hall. We are holding a short protest prior to speaking at the Communities Leadership and Libraries (CLL) Committee meeting at 7pm. Please invite your friends and neighbours to come along too – children are welcome!

As you may have heard, the Minister for Culture recently refused our complaint about the Barnet Library Service. Unfortunately, his decision shows a blatant determination to ignore the evidence of Barnet residents and let the Council off the hook.  You can read our response here.

In spite of this, the Council wasn’t able to get away completely unscathed: one important outcome of the complaint process is the Council’s long-awaited “Library Review”. In this, the Council must explore the impact of the library cuts on groups protected by the Equalities Acts – including children, older people, and those with disabilities. Not suprisingly, these are the groups most affected by unstaffed libraries, reduced facilities and locked toilets.


The process for the review is due to be announced at the CLL meeting. We need your support to put pressure on the committee to carry out a meaningful review that listens to residents’ views and really looks at the impact of the cuts. Please help us to get all our voices heard. 

The review is timely: you may have read about the recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty which finds “unheard-of levels of loneliness and isolation” and links this to austerity policies, including shrinking library services. 

We will be organising speakers for the meeting – reply to this email by Monday 3 June if you want to participate. We are also collecting your stories about the library service – email us or share them via our facebook page or website.

Wed 5 June – Protest at the Council’s attack on Independent Living

URGENT ….. LOBBY AGAINST CUTS TO INDEPENDENT LIVINGWEDNESDAY 5 JUNE, 6.30pm. Hendon Town Hall
Over 50 people attended a meeting on Tuesday organised by BAPS and UNISON to hear about the latest callous attack on those most in need in Barnet. Local disabled residents explained at the meeting the devastating impact this will have on their lives.
Even though the council social services budget is underspent, Barnet Tories want to make a saving. Rather than using the underspend to fill the 50-odd vacant social worker posts, the tories wants cut the budget. Is that because it will use the underspend to finance the overspend in the contract with Capita? 
The meeting agreed to lobby and protest at the Council Adult & Safeguarding Committee on Wednesday 5 June. Meet at 6.30pm outside the Town Hall, The Burroughs, Hendon.

How does Barnet Council wants to save £424,000?

Disabled resident may be forced to move into residential care against their wishes rather than being supported in their community near family and friends, if Barnet Council thinks residential care is a cheaper option. Barnet Council recognises that disabled residents, their families and carers may not like this.

Barnet Council recognises that forcing a disabled resident to move into residential care might be bad for their well-being. Inclusion Barnet, an organisation led by and for people who are disabled, has written to Barnet Council in January 2019. They are still waiting for a reply, yet they represent Barnet disabled residents.

“Michael Nolan, a trustee of the disabled people’s organisation Inclusion Barnet, told Disability News Service: “The Inclusion Barnet board are extremely concerned about these proposals, which we fear could leave some disabled people confined to residential care when they might otherwise have been able to live independently. We believe that this could impact people least able to self-advocate, and is also against the spirit of the Care Act.”

4 June: March Together Against Trump!

In early June, Stand Up To Racism along with others are preparing to protest Donald Trump’s planned visit to Britain. 

Last year, a quarter of a million mobilised to say no to Trump’s politics of hate and division. This time, we will take to the streets in even bigger numbers!

Trump is a symbol of the new far right. This is when we take stand together against the Tories’ “hostile environment” here too.

Read article where Stand Up To Racism co convenor Sabby Dhalu explains the importance of the march HERE

Join & share the Facebook event for 4 June demoHERE

Barnet goes to the Anti-Racism Demonstation

Facebook event here.

1. Meet 11.00 on platform at East Finchley . Depart 11.15 – change Tottenham Court Road onto Central Line – to either Bond Street or Marble Arch.

2. Meet 11.00 on platform at Finchley Central. Depart 11.15 – change Tottenham Court Road onto Central Line – to either Bond Street or Marble Arch.

Then 12.15 – 12.30 go to Barnet meeting point at top of Park Lane in front of Marriott Hotel

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