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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 May 2009

"Dump cuts not elderly"

SCORES OF angry elderly protesters spoiled the ceremony of exchanging mayors at the town hall of Barnet in north London.

Ron Cohen

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!

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In The Socialist 27 May 2009:

Protest at MPs' sleaze: Vote No2EU - Yes to Democracy

No2EU - yes to Democracy: Who's standing and why you should vote for them

Fight for real democracy!

Hear No2EU - Yes to Democracy speakers

Fiddling Tory MP Mackay resigns

UKIP - yet another establishment party

BNP fail to win Salford election


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs: Fortnight of action 27 June to 10 July

School students organised strikes


Construction workers feature

Construction workers: battle won but war not over

Strike success at Lindsey Oil Refinery and Conoco

An action plan for all construction sites

Diary of a Lindsey Oil Refinery shop steward


International socialist news and analysis

Southampton protest: Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Latvia: 'A capitalist inferno'

Kashmir health workers' victory

Nanjing college students in clashes with police


PCS conference and workplace news

PCS conference: Preparing for future battles

Delegates' anger at Public and Commercial Services union conference

Young members' voices heard at PCS conference

Wales TUC conference - no good news for New Labour

National Shop Stewards Network conference


Socialist Party campaigning news

Anger at council school closures

Lewisham Bridge primary school

Why we must Stop the Strip!

"Dump cuts not elderly"


 

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