General Election Now / #StandWithCorbyn

General Election Now rally with Jeremy Corbyn this Thursday (July 25, 6pm, Parliament Sq.)
** RSVP, share & invite friends on Facebook now here. **
On Thursday, join Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament Square and send a message: we need a General Election. Tory incompetence has led to a deadlocked Parliament, a deeply divided country, and a government led by a man decided by just 160,000 Tory members. We need a General Election, and Parliament is where we’ll pile on the pressure. Will you be there?
** RSVP, share & invite friends on Facebook now here. **

You’re being gagged

On 30 July Tory councillors will vote to bar residents from speaking at council committee meetings. Tory councillors will vote to allow only two residents to raise one question each, in writing, on items on a committee’s agenda. After 30 July you, your residents’ association or interest group can no longer voice your concerns. Councillors will make decisions about bin collection and recycling, potholes, air pollution, development, libraries, schools, and care for the elderly and the disabled without listening to you.

What you and your friends can do now:

• E-mail your councillors to oppose this resolution

• E-mail your MP to oppose this resolution

• Go to your councillors’ surgery to oppose this resolution

• Sign the petition at http://chng.it/KgZ7gz7pk4

What you and your friends can do on 30 July: Come to Hendon Town Hall at 6pm to show your opposition to being gagged.

Who are we? Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) is a coalition of residents, campaign groups and trade unions defending public services in Barnet. We meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 6.30-8.30 at the Greek Cypriot Centre, North Finchley, 2 BritanniaRoad, London N12 9RU

Email: barnetalliance4publicservices@gmail.com

How you can help ‘stop and scrap’ Universal Credit

It is TUC policy to ‘stop and scrap’ Universal Credit. The implementation of the policy, alongside the cap on the up-rating of welfare benefits, has been shown to be causing immense hardship, and has been proven to be a substantial cause of the huge growth in the dependency of vulnerable people on foodbanks, and of evictions. 

Unite Community is organising a day of action against Universal Credit, 1 August 2019. More information and campaign materials are available at: 
https://unitetheunion.org/campaigns/stop-universal-credit/
#STOPUniversalCredit

MR REASONABLE: Barnet Council Plan to Gag Residents

Last week the Constitution and General Purposes Committee proposed significant changes to the public participation rules. Currently, up to 30 minutes is set aside at the start of each committee meeting for public comments and questions. You have to submit the questions by 10am 3 working days in advance of the committee meeting and you also have to specify which agenda item on which you wish to make a public comment.  At the meeting the resident gets 3 minutes to make their public comment and they can then be questioned by committee members. Questions are taken in strict rotation so everyone who has asked a question gets a chance to ask a supplementary question. Even if the questioners do not get the chance to ask a supplementary question there is a written response to their original question. This provides a useful audit trail when matters arise in the future.

Last week all those rules were changed.  Following ratification at the forthcoming full council meeting on 30 July public participation will be dramatically reduced. The Council’s proposals are as follows:

Questions and comments should be amalgamated. The number of words for each question/comment should be limited at 100 and must be submitted in writing by 10am 3 working days in advance of the committee meeting.
Residents may raise one question/comment on an agenda item. The question/comment must relate to the substantive matter to be determined by the committee. No more than two questions from residents will be allowed per agenda item taken in the order of receipt by the Governance Service. These changes means the public will no longer be able to address the committee in person and councillors will not be able to ask the member of public about their comment. When reports run to many pages, summarising a single question or comment in 100 words will severely restrict what people can say. Residents will only be able to make one comment or one question on an agenda item but if more than two residents ask a question or make a comment on an agenda item, no other questions or comments will be accepted.  Barnet say this is about saving money and giving more opportunities to residents. It will do neither especially, if residents are forced to submit multiple FOI requests to get important answers. It seems clear that Barnet do not like residents scrutinising decisions such as the Council’s £22.9 million loan to Saracens Rugby to build a new stand at their stadium or asking questions about the £2 million fraud carried out by a Capita employee which went undiscovered for more than a year. Capita’s performance in areas such as Highways and Pensions Administration have been dismal but public scrutiny of their performance and why they are being allowed to continue to provide such a poor service will now be all but eliminated. The Council are also making major cuts to services such as libraries and are changing the rules to force disabled people who receive in-home care packages to move into residential care simply because it is cheaper. The ability to question these changes will be dramatically reduced, allowing the council to rubber stamp decisions without any meaningful engagement with the public. Barnet residents have a right and a need to scrutinise the Council and these changes will eliminate that scrutiny. I admit I do ask quite a few questions but that is simply because I believe committees are failing to provide adequate scrutiny. Conservative councillors keep saying the questions are political. The questions I ask are almost always about money and performance. With £20 million of budget cuts this year and a further £47 million of cuts over the next four years it is important that Councillors at least listen to the concerns of residents. If you think the Council’s proposals are wrong, please sign the petition here or go an visit your local Conservative Councillor before the Council meeting on 30 July. Details of all their councillors’ surgeries are on the Barnet Council website but I have summarised them here for your convenience.

ORIGINAL POST

Barnet Alliance for Public Services Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 16 July from 6.30 – 8.30 pm at the Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road London N12.


The first hour of the meeting has been set aside for general business, for a review of the past year and for discussion of further work to be undertaken by BAPS in the coming year. 

For the second half of the meeting from 7.30 onwards we are  pleased to announce guest speaker Adelaide Joseph and her husband Paul, both veteran ANC activists and campaigners. Their daugher Nadia will also participate in what it likely to be an interesting and inspiring presentation. 

#GeneralElectionNow – Labour Assembly Against Austerity

RALLY: General Election Now! Time for a Corbyn-Government

Rally with John McDonnell // Diane Abbott // Richard Burgon & more.
Friday June 21, 6.30pm, Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD.  RSVP, Share & Invite here


Hosted by the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, this rally will open the Arise 2019 – a festival of Labour’s left ideas festival, and all Friday + Saturday tickets will include a ticket to this. These can be bought at www.arise-festival.com/tickets.

A limited number of tickets for the Friday night rally only are also available, also at www.arise-festival.com/tickets – get yours today!

#GeneralElectionNow
#JC4PM

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.

No cuts demonstration – Enfield 27th February

Support the No Cuts Rally
27th February, 5:30pm
Outside the Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield EN1 3XA

Enfield North Labour Party passed a “No cuts budget” resolution on 17th January. Members are urging the Labour council to refuse to pass the catastrophic Tory cuts that are slashing public services, making an irreparable damage to our community.

The council is preparing to implement further £18 million-worth of Tory cuts, even though it has already cut £178 million since 2010. More vital services will be cut which will affect the poorest and most vulnerable people in Enfield. Already 39% children in our borough live in poverty, according to End Child Poverty coalition – how many more after the newest cuts?

The resolution calls for the council to use all the legal means at their disposal. This includes use of the financial reserves and borrowing powers as well as the demand on the central government to immediately grant funding back to pre-austerity 2010 levels.

The resolution calls for building a local and national campaign of resistance to austerity that should include trade unions, community groups and ordinary residents.

Members are planning a lobby of the council on the budget setting date on 27th February. They are inviting all community groups and residents affected by cuts to join. Austerity is a choice, and it has to stop.

Unite’s campaign to end bandit capitalism

Unite has launched a campaign to tackle bandit capitalism and stop Carillion-style collapses.

Unite is fighting to ensure that the untold human misery of being dumped out of work without warning caused by such collapses is tackled once and for all.

As part of the campaign Unite has produced the Ending bandit capitalism: learning the lessons following Carillion’s collapse blueprint to end vulture capitalists ruining public services and destroying livelihoods and to stop “too big to fail” outsourcing firms like Carillion imploding.

The blueprint contains a package of measures designed to introduce better regulations and stricter rules to prevent companies being able to embellish their accounts and provide an entirely false trading position – actions that had disastrous consequences for Carillion and its workforce.

Since Carillion’s collapse Unite has led the way in calling for action to be taken to bring those responsible for the company’s collapse to justice. Unite has called for a public inquiry into Carillion’s collapse and an immediate criminal investigation into those responsible.

Write to your MP calling on them to introduce legislation that adopts Unite’s recommendations, which include:

• Requiring directors to focus on the long-term welfare of the company rather than short-term profits

• New rules which bar companies from prioritising dividends, bonuses and director’s pay over reducing pension deficits

• A stop to the government awarding contracts to companies in financial difficulties

• Long-term support from the government for sub-contractors and supply chains if a major company collapses

• Radical reform of the entire financial regulatory system, with the number of regulators being reduced and those that remain being given real power and teeth

• An end to the current outsourcing culture, with contracts being brought back in house at the earliest opportunity

• A transformation of employment laws to ensure unions have access to workforces to organise workers and prevent exploitation

• A reduction of the number of legal hurdles that must be cleared before cases taken for workers employed by a company in compulsory liquidation can go forward

Petition: after the Tories suffer the biggest parliamentary defeat in history

The Tories’ chaotic handling of Brexit has left us with no choice: Jeremy Corbyn has called a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government.

We need a General Election now to break the Brexit deadlock. And a new government that can get a Brexit deal that actually delivers for working people.

We need a government that can pull our NHS out of crisis, keep our communities safe and invest in the towns and cities the Tories have left behind.

We need a Labour government.

If you agree, stand with us today. Sign here.

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