LABOUR bosses have vowed to scrap plans for a budget airline style council if they are elected to power.
In their manifesto for the 2010 local elections, Labour councillors echoed the sentiments in the national party slogan and claimed “what Barnet needs is fairness for all”.
They said the current Conservative administration has left residents “upset and angry” by the levels of “waste and incompetence” and claimed services are worse now than when they were elected in 2002.
And the reaction to the council's future shape policy, which has been branded easyCouncil and would see residents pay extra for some services, has led the Labour group to make promises to cut the plans.
They believe the privatisation measures will cost millions and will force residents to pay twice for services.
The pledge document, signed by group leader, Councillor Alison Moore and deputy leader Barry Rawlings, states: “The Conservatives are planning to introduce a ‘no-frills’ budget airline service model to run council services that will mean extra charges for services you are already receiving from paying council tax.
“We will scrap the so-called ‘easyCouncil’ plans where residents will pay for services through council tax and then pay again in extra charges.
“The Conservatives, as a matter of dogma, are spending millions of pounds preparing to privatise many council services.
“We say 'no' to a mass council sell-off, and will scrap the so-called ‘Future Shape’ programme. Your needs, fairness and best value for money to deliver these will drive Labour's decisions on council services.”
The manifesto claims council tax has increased by more than 45 per cent since 2002 and is damning of the Tory's handling of the £27 million that was “gambled” in the failed Icelandic banks.
It also highlights the £20 million spent on consultants and agency staff and the overspent by £12 million on “a botched bridge building scheme” in Aerodrome Road, Colindale.
Labour have set out a total of seven “key pledges”, including the scrapping of the easyCouncil policy.
They also plan to freeze council tax for two years and will peg any future council tax increases during this term of the council to inflation, as a maximum, fight Conservative cuts to police and work with Safer Neighbourhood Police teams to tackle local crime, and use savings from cutting waste to maintain highways and open spaces.
As well as those, they will make the first residents’ parking permit free and allow 20 minutes free parking in all pay & display bays, build more affordable homes, support the vulnerable in the community, champion young people and protect sheltered housing wardens, and restore confidence in local democracy.
The manifesto adds: “We believe in putting our values of fairness for all into decisions we make about public services, and will work with all our communities – people of all races, cultures and economic backgrounds, those of faith and those of no faith - to help make Barnet fairer, safer, cleaner and greener.”