Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Councils Cut, and Councillors Diagnose Those Resisting

 Brent Fightback is the anti-cuts campaign initiated and supported by Brent Trades Union Council, and includes Labour Party members, perhaps even one or two present or future councillors. When residents who object to their local library closing are told they can use another, which is also about to be closed, they may have differing opinions on which are the "loonies".

Meanwhile in neighbouring Barnet, the Tory group leader was also diagnosing the resistance.

One Barnet campaigners are 'eccentric socialists', says leader

8:50am Wednesday 6th March 2013
By Chris Hewett
A campaign group fighting Barnet Council’s outsourcing programme was dismissed as “a group of eccentric socialists” by the leader in charge of the scheme.
Conservative group leader Richard Cornelius made the comments about the Barnet Alliance for Public Services as the authority’s annual budget was passed at Hendon Town Hall last night.
In his speech, he attacked the group, which has fiercely criticised and campaigned against the Tory-imposed One Barnet outsourcing scheme.
He said: “(They are) just a group of eccentric socialists, American exiles, bloggers and a coffee shop owner.”
The Totteridge representative also referred to a judicial review brought against the One Barnet scheme, supported by BAPS, which is due to be heard at the High Court later this month.
Outsourcing contracts have been put on hold pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.
Councillor Cornelius said: “Everyone has a right to speak to the courts, but the delay will make it difficult for us to implement the savings we have planned.
“I don’t see how a union (BAPS) can support this when it is potentially damaging its members’ job prospects.”
He later added: “We read a lot of local propaganda from bloggers and general whingers but people want to live in Barnet – we have the two best schools in the country, the second best primary education system, our regeneration schemes are delivering and our business base is strong.”

We can understand the councillor from leafy Totteridge thinks socialists of any kind are to say the least "eccentric", his ward being one of the wealthiest in London, though his colleague Brian Coleman enjoys a charity residence. But why the animus against Americans and owners of coffee shops? some readers asked.

Well, it was an American called Charles Hondericks who, revisiting the area from which his mother hailed, hit upon the idea of making a film about how the area has changed since the days of the Barnet workhouse about which Charles Dickens wrote, and in doing so, gave a voice to some of the residents who are fighting the Tory council's scheme.
 A Tale of Two Barnets
  As for the coffee shop owner, Brian Coleman, or "Mr.Toad" as some unkindly dubbed him, was suspended from the Tory party following his arrest over an incident with a lady who runs a local cafe and tried to photograph him parking in a loading bay. We won't say more as the case is due to be heard next month.  But it was good of Councillor Cornelius to remind us of this.

"Ex-Barnet mayor Brian Coleman hit woman and drove off with her"

Trial Postponed

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