Protestors from Barnet Alliance for Public Services demonstrate outside council offices before One Barnet Capita vote

First published in Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

Protestors brandished placards and handed out leaflets outside Barnet Council’s head offices this morning as they lobbied against plans to outsource £320million of back office services.

The authority’s ruling cabinet committee is expected to ratify the provisional award of a ten-year contract to business processes firm Capita this evening.

If approved, almost 200 jobs at the council will be lost and services including payroll, HR and customer services will be shipped out as far as Sheffield and Carlisle.

Barnet Council says it will save £125.4million in the deal – money it says would otherwise be cut from frontline services.

Campaigners from the Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) gathered at the North London Business Park in Oakleigh Road South first thing this morning to demonstrate as council staff arrived for work.

Council leader Richard Cornelius, overseeing the One Barnet outsourcing programme, politely declined a campaign leaflet as he arrived at the business park entrance.

The campaign group will carry out further demonstrations from 5.30pm outside Hendon Town Hall, where the cabinet is set to meet at 7pm.

BAPS co-ordinator Tirza Waisel, said: “This contract will be devastating for the whole community – jobs will go, services will deteriorate and the community will suffer.

“We’ll see how democratic they are. So far they have demonstrated that they are totally undemocratic but if they listen to the majority of residents who are against this plan they will not go ahead.

“We were there all morning and we’re expecting a big turnout tonight. We will not sit quietly and watch these few members of the cabinet ruining the community of this borough.”

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