Socialist Worker

Hundreds march in Barnet against cuts

by Simon Basketter, in Barnet
Issue No. 2237

Some 1,000 people marched in Finchley, north London, against Barnet council’s cuts and privatisation.

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

The march was organised by the Barnet Alliance for Public Services. Council workers in the Unison and GMB unions were joined by teachers from the NUT, and PCS members.

School students and pensioners marched together.

John Burgess, branch secretary of Barnet Unison, said, “The Tories said that would be no cuts to frontline services—but cuts to services for pensioners, services for people with learning difficulties are as frontline as you can get.

“The government and the council are afraid of our protests.”

Along the route there were boos as the crowd passed the home of Tory GLA member and councillor Brian Coleman and the offices of Tory MPs Mike Freer and Matthew Offord.

After the march people packed into the Arts Depot in North Finchley for a rally.

Some 150 Unison members at Barnet council are voting on strikes over privatisation, including crematorium staff, registrars, planning, environmental health, trading standards and highway workers.

Plans to outsource a raft of services are set to start as early as February. The ballot will close on 17 February.

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Article information

Tue 1 Feb 2011, 17:11 GMT
Issue No. 2237
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