BARNET POTHOLE OF THE YEAR AWARD AND EXHIBITION

We need to send a clear message to Barnet council that residents are fed up with Capita’s failings and show councillors why Highways service, which is responsible for the maintenance of our streets, needs to be brought in-house without delay. You can play your part by doing the following:

  1. Share the above video widely and repeatedly
  2. Take a photo of your prize pothole.
  3. Upload your photo to Barnet POTY Award Facebook page with the location of the pothole and your name.
  4. You can enter as many times as you wish. Judges’ decision will be final.

The winning pothole will be awarded the BARNET POT HOLE OF THE YEAR AWARD at Hendon Town Hall on the evening of Monday 17 June 2019.

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 

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.”

BENEFITS SANCTIONS: a critical issue for the Labour Party

Thursday 6 June – 7.30pm
Greek Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road, N12 9 RU

Meeting and discussion with David Webster and Stop Universal Credit campaigner

David Webster is a Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University. He is currently carrying out an in-depth investigation into disallowances and sanctions in the UK unemployment insurance system.

Benefits used to be run on insurance principles – but the Blair government bought into the whole ideology of conditionality, sanctions and workfare. A research by the IFS concludes that almost 2million people will lose £1,000 a year with universal credit, and that it is those on disability benefits and low incomes who will be among the worst affected.

We look forward to seeing you there!

BENEFITS SANCTIONS a critical issue for the Labour Party

BARNET MOMENTUM MEETING
Thursday 6 June – 7.30pm
Greek Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road, N12 9 RU

Meeting and discussion with David Webster and Stop UC campaigner

David Webster is a Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University. He is currently carrying out an in-depth critical investigation into disallowances and sanctions in the UK unemployment insurance system.
Benefits used to be run on insurance principles – but the Blair government bought into the whole ideology of conditionality, sanctions and workfare. A research by the IFS concludes that almost 2million people will lose £1,000 a year with universal credit, and that it is those on disability benefits and low incomes will be among worst affected.

Barnet Alliance for Public Services: We need your potholes!

We have a fantastic potholes song that cannot be published yet until a suitable video to accompany it will be produced.

For that we need MANY PHOTOS OF POTHOLES and broken pavements.

We know there are hundreds of those across Barnet, but not many come through to the POTY Facebook page that Holly created.

The song and video will help promote this campaign towards the 17 June P&R meeting which will decide on whether to bring the Highways service back in-house, but we cannot use it until we get the pictures!

SO:

Please take photos of any pothole you come across and send them immediately.

You can take the photo on your mobile phone and send by What’sUp to me (07957-486 379),

Or attach to an email and send to this email account by Reply.

THE SOONER THE BETTER!

Barnet Council to pull out of major care homes contract after its failure to deliver adequate services

Barnet Council has publicly announced plans to pull out of a major contract which was responsible for delivering three key care homes – Meadowside, Apthorp Lodge and Dellfield Court. The provider of these services has begun to enter into TUPE consultations with a view to handing over its care homes to the 100% council owned company, Your Choice Barnet.

This follows a damning report issued by the Care Quality Commission into Apthorp Care Centre, in Brunswick Park, that Barnet published in January 23 2019, which deemed the service inadequate – and placed the care home into special measures. The report followed an unannounced inspection in December 2018.

The CQC report highlighted that the Centre was understaffed, saying that under-staffing levels had “a significant impact on people’s dignity. For example, we observed two people, on separate occasions, had soiled themselves and were walking through communal areas of the flats.” Fremantle has a poor record on ensuring staff and worker well being – having in the past proposed reducing care workers’ basic salary by 20-25%, bringing care worker pay down to well below the London Living Wage.

Adults and Social Care spokesperson for the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Reema Patel said,

“This sorry state of affairs illustrates two things. Firstly, the Council needs to urgently review its approach to securing high quality services that ensure worker well being. Secondly, it highlights the extent to which national cuts to social care funding are proving impossible to manage. We welcome the return of care homes to council control, but more is required – increased investment in social care funding in particular.”

For more information contact:

Cllr Reema Patel: 07398 220 745

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

Barnet says Goodbye to Fremantle

Barnet UNISON has just been informed that the Fremantle Trust is to enter into TUPE consultations to hand over the running of its care homes: Meadowside, Apthorp Lodge and Dellfield Court to Your Choice Barnet.

We welcome this transfer as a positive step in the right direction. Your Choice Barnet is 100% owned by the Council which places the running of the homes under greater local accountability. We will do all we can to continue to represent our members who have consistently done their best to deliver support to vulnerable residents, often under difficult circumstances.

We believe there are now real opportunities to address the concerns of staff and residents in a positive and constructive way and look forward to working with Your Choice Barnet to achieve this.

The transfer of staff and services is planned to take place at the beginning of July 2019.

Barnet UNISON has already approached Your Choice Barnet in preparation for formal TUPE transfer meetings which will be looking to take place shortly.

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