May 022013

On 1st May the local Times (Hendon and Finchley, Barnet and Potters Bar, Edgeware and Mill Hill) newspaper published a Headline on the Barnet case taken by Maria Nash against the Capita contract for the privatisation of Barnet local authority services.  It said:

“One Barnet campaigner Maria Nash handed more taxpayer funding to continue High Court fight”

 This was a scandalous and pejorative statement written by the chief reporter Chris Hewitt. Even the local Times may be Tory Blue , but such headlines are surely an insult to balanced reporting everywhere. Nowhere did this piece state what the problems with the outsourcing would be, nowhere did it state the facts of the issue, or the problems outsourcing of council services had brought previously. Instead preferring to deal with sensationalist vitriol on an exercise of democracy, in an era where democracy is harder and harder to find. The piece went on to say:

‘A campaigner fighting Barnet Council’s multi-million pound outsourcing scheme has been granted more taxpayer funding to continue her legal battle…Following a three-day hearing in March, which cost the taxpayer more than £500,000…’

The piece can be seen in full at the link below

 What this is really about

Well this could be about tax payers money in bailing out yet another private company, should the worst happen and Capita do take over services. It will leave the people of Barnet in a worse position than now with social care provision, cut backs and based on Capita’s previous form : increasing debts. DPAC applauds Maria Nash and Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS).  As we have previously  said:

“DPAC fully supports the campaign to oppose the privatisation of public services in Barnet.

What is happening in Barnet is important to everyone because Barnet is only just the beginning and if this is allowed to happen in one area it could happen anywhere.

Disabled people have fought long and hard for public sector duties to promote our rights, and privatisation will cynically evade responsibilities towards equality and inclusion.

Where private companies are squeezing profit out of already under funded services the result can only be sub standard services. For disabled people who rely on services that means people’s lives on the line.

Disabled people have seen the care that private companies have for us from our experiences with the Work Capability Assessment where they compete for contracts to profit out of pushing disabled people into poverty.

In Banstead last week a disabled older woman unable to leave her bed died after her outsourced care agency was shut down and she was left completely without the support her life depended on.

Selling Barnet public services to Capita will mean more tragic stories and less accountability. It must be opposed.

We ask you to complain to the writer of the piece and to the newspaper itself.

Chief reporter
Chris Hewett
07824 530136 @TimesChewit1987

Group editor
Martin Buhagiar @TimesIndyEditor

Letters to the Editor


Letters should be as short as possible and will be considered for publication only if accompanied by your name and address (anonymity can be requested). Letters may appear in print and online, where Newsquest’s internet policy applies.

May be we could send Chris and co some real facts on Barnet too- see the brilliant video below

Read BAPs press release

Or read what Phillip Rackham says

Finally please support BAPs at