Socialist Worker

Barnet protest against ‘easyCouncil’

Issue No. 2227

Over 150 people joined a lively lobby of Barnet council in north London on Tuesday of last week.

The protest, outside a full council meeting, was called by Barnet Alliance for Public Services.

Council workers from Barnet Unison and GMB union branches were joined by teachers from the NUT, PCS union members and a group of local firefighters.

Paul Coles of Barnet GMB told the crowd,“We have faced cuts for years. More cuts will make things even worse.

“The Con-Dems say we’re all in it together—that’s bullshit. We’re not going to stand for these cuts.”

Speeches were interrupted by chants of “Tories out” every time a car pulled up with a Tory councillor in it.

A social worker said, “I work in adult social services. With the cuts we’ll be doing hardly anything apart from assessing people.

“People will be forced to rely on their families for help we can no longer provide. If you don’t have a family I really fear for you. Yet they waste huge amounts of money on the pay for top bosses.”

A big lobby is planed for 14 December, followed by a march through Barnet in January.

Barnet is a flagship Tory council that has boasted that it will run services on the model of the budget airlines—dubbed “easyCouncil”.

The council wants to outsource planning, regeneration, highways design and development, environmental health, trading standards, building control, Hendon cemetery and crematoria and other services.

The unions will need to move to ballot to combine lobbies with strikes as the best way to fight back.

Around 250 people joined a trades council protest in Taunton last Saturday against Somerset county council’s planned cuts.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

News
Tue 9 Nov 2010, 18:50 GMT
Issue No. 2227
Share this article


Tags



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.