Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/581/7351
"Dump cuts not elderly"
SCORES OF angry elderly protesters spoiled the ceremony of exchanging mayors at the town hall of Barnet in north London.
They gave the outgoing mayor a petition signed by 1,600 people protesting against the planned cut of on-site wardens at the 52 sheltered homes, and replacing them by a floating team, which will only assist the most vulnerable residents.
This cut, if passed by the Tory governed council, will mean a real deterioration in the quality of life, security and health of the sheltered homes residents.
Barnet Community Campaign organised the protest and march. About 150 homes residents and trade unionists waved placards saying: "Dump the proposals not the elderly" and shouted: "We want our wardens". They were cheered by the bystanders.
The "consultation" had questions like "Do you think it is right for the council to provide more help with alarm service charges for people in sheltered housing than it provides for other people who use alarm services?" The options given were Yes, No, Not sure. There was no option that alarm services should be provided free for all.
This cut is one of many that Barnet plans, to cut expenses by privatising all "non-strategic" services. These "cost-saving" measures are proposed by a council that lost many millions in dodgy schemes in Icelandic banks, and more millions in badly managed and financed construction projects.
And the newly nominated mayor, Brian Coleman, is notorious for his expenses claims as a council member and a London Assembly member: over £10,000 during 2007, and £8,231 during 2008 - and those were only for his taxi bills!
In The Socialist 27 May 2009:
Youth fight for jobs
Construction workers feature
International socialist news and analysis
PCS conference and workplace news
Socialist Party campaigning news