Barnet Alliance for Public Services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 25 May 2014
Barnet Alliance for Public Services, like Barnet Bloggers Mrs Angry, Mr Reasonable, Mr Mustard and the Barnet Eye, did everything in their power to inform the residents of Barnet of the current and future impact of the disastrous policies of the Conservative Party. In a climate where nationally the three major parties supported privatisation and cuts, we knew that we were taking on a huge task without a guarantee of success, but we did so because we knew that many residents had already felt the effects of those policies – poorer quality and more expensive public services, a disregard for their needs and their opinions, a loss of democratic control and accountability – and this was their chance to voice their opinion in a way that the council could not suppress.
It is clear from the pattern of voting, where the greatest changes were in wards where BAPS distributed their information lealfets, that informed residents make better choices. BAPS heartily thanks all its activists and supporters who contributed to the campaign by distributing information leaflets door to door and on the street, organising, and donating time and money.
The Conservative Party has hung on to control of Barnet Council by one seat. Will they, with this slimmest possible majority, ignore the views of the many who voted against them? Will they continue with their policy of disregard for the vulnerable members of our community: the working poor, the unemployed, the disabled children and adults? Will they continue to spend taxpayers’ money on consultants instead of consulting the residents, fail to properly scrutinise each strand of every outsourced service to ensure it works for the people, and shore up the arrogant and uncaring management of Your Choice Barnet and the incompetent NSL? Will they continue to damage the high streets and our local economy? Will they continue to do deals with developers to build expensive private housing on council land, displace tenants from their communities and try to move as many of them as possible out of Barnet? Will they continue to do nothing to control the quality and cost of accommodation for those pushed into the private rental sector? Will they privatise the remaining public services, so that they have virtually no council work to do other than trying to contact customer services on behalf of their constituents? Will they make further mass redundancies of council workers and destroy the relationship with their trade unions? Will they ignore the warning of their own auditors until disaster is unavoidable and then weep crocodile tears and try to blame someone else as they raise council tax high enough to compensate for the folly of previous council tax cuts and freezes?
BAPS will continue in their role as scrutineers and campaigners for public services and residents’ rights. It might take a little while for some residents to realise the full impact of what is happening to them and for their anger to turn to action. We’ll be there, ready to welcome them to our campaign against more cuts and privatisation, and to improve our quality of life.
Notes to the editor:
1. Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) is a coalition of residents, trade unionists and community campaigners in the London Borough of Barnet, formed to defend and improve public services.
2. BAPS had supported the 3 opposition parties in Barnet (the Labour, the Lib-Dem and Barnet Green party) in an attempt to win the borough over from the Conservatives and their privatisation agenda.
3. BAPS activists and supporters have distributed 26,000 of the following information leaflet across the borough, especially covering the wards of East Barnet, Underhill, Brunswick Park and Hale where the most significant changes in voting patterns were noted.
Barnet Alliance tel: 07534 407703 – http://barnetalliance.org; [email protected]; @barnetalliance