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Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

VileReynard
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Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/aug/27/barnet-council-conservative-party
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• Borough wants to emulate budget airline price model
• Tories aim to tailor social services to fit users' needs

It starts off:
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From the millionaires' mansions of Mill Hill, to the workers' cafes of Finchley High Road, a new experiment in Conservative party radicalism is under way, and it is already proving divisive.

[Not all of us in Mill Hill have millionaires' mansions...]
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Margaret Thatcher's former constituency lies within the borough and once again Thatcherite buzz words are in the air. The talk is of "outsourcing", "privatisation", "small government" and "consumer choice" as the council attempts the trick of slashing millions from its costs while keeping council tax down. But it is not Thatcherism, rather another free-market innovation that makes what is going on in Barnet controversial: the council wants to emulate the business practices of the no-frills budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair in an attempt to create what a spokesman has dubbed an "EasyCouncil".

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It is an approach which upsets the opposition, which believes the Conservative administration has developed a blind spot for the poorer areas of the borough and focuses instead on appealing to affluent residents of areas such as Mill Hill, with its manicured golf courses.
"There is a real danger of problems in the local community and that vulnerable people will lose out," said Labour leader Alison Moore, who opposes the reforms . "People who are dependent on care services may find they aren't there at the same quality as before."
Her deputy, Barry Rawlings, added: "They have set themselves up as the voice of the suburbs and they seem to have a very twee idea that the suburbs is all about tree-lined avenues."

I feel sorry for me. Cry

15 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

Look on the bright side, if they are like Ryanair they might get cheesed off with the costs and move to another location where it is cheaper
pierre_pierre
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

the Con merchants in Essex have just made the same sort of announcement, interviews on the Local BBC news this morning
One - privatising Social care will save us money (but on the record of what has already taken place, knock the hell out of the people in need of care)
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

Essex County Council is one of the most efficient in the country.  I'm pleased with the service I get from them. 
VileReynard
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

Is that "efficient with money" ie tight-fisted or "efficient with services" eg provision of care etc for those who need such services?
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The council says this level of support is too costly and it is planning to replace live-in wardens with "floating" wardens across the borough, possibly run by the private sector.

Is this efficient?

Community Veteran
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

To be efficient with money doesn't have to be tight-fisted.  It means using your resources in a better way.  At the end of the day all expenditure by County/local councils is paid for by us, the taxpayer, and I would hope they do not squander our money.
There has been a discussion on LBC this morning about the barnet proposal.  In regard to social services it stated that people would have more control of their pot of money to decide how they want to spend it.  What suits one person may not suit another.  It will be interesting to see how it works in practice.
VileReynard
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

You must realise that Thatcher was active in a neighbouring constituency.
That should give you the flavour of proposed cuts "freedom of choice".
Private sector = someone is skimming money from my council tax contributions.
I suspect that most people prefer their social care to open and honest - no management consultants
who suddenly withdraw facilities and call it freedom of choice.

pierre_pierre
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

It not yet certain but ECC are planing to out source all their operation to IBM (And get rid of direct employees?)
Community Veteran
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

Yes Jeremy I do know that Lady T was the MP for Finchley.  I had a great admiration for her.
pierre_pierre
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

I bet he wears Blue under ware Jeremy 
Community Veteran
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

I do, but at least I can spell it Shocked
pierre_pierre
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

It I must have been thinking of Ware Hertfordshire
VileReynard
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

Quote from: artmo
Yes Jeremy I do know that Lady T was the MP for Finchley.  I had a great admiration for her.

I didn't realise she was dead yet - but I'm pleased to hear the good news.

Community Veteran
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

i was listening to the Ken Livingstone prog this morning and surprised to hear that he thinks some ideas of the Barnet plan are good.  Last thing I would expect to hear from Ken Smiley  He is going to have the leader of barnet Council on his prog in the next few weeks to discuss it.
VileReynard
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Re: Welcome to Barnet, the Tory test-pilot of no-frills government

Which ones?
Are the Tories going to do away with their limousines?
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Residents will undoubtedly be concerned that the council is proposing an 'easyJet' service but still charging a 'Concorde' rate of council tax. Before the coup which installed Freer as the unelected leader of the council, he repeatedly called for a zero increase in council tax, but once he got his hands on the reins of power, his demands were quietly forgotten. Indeed, this year the increase in council tax was substantially above the rate of inflation.
At the same time, Freer has overseen a massive hike in the allowances paid to councillors, with Barnet’s elected representatives now costing ratepayers more than £1 million a year, and chief officers also stuffing their boots to overflowing.