Several hundred people braved blizzards and freezing temperatures to march in protest against the privatisation of public services in Barnet.

Politicians, activists and members of the public took part in the Barnet Spring march, organised by the Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS), to demonstrate their opposition to Barnet Borough Council’s One Barnet privatisation programme.

BAPS group coordinator Tirza Waisel said: “We had received a huge amount of support so were expecting close to 1,000 people rather than the 500 that joined the march. But, considering the weather, the turnout was very good.

“People of all ages took part, there was a very good atmosphere and we were accompanied by a double-decker open topped bus, which enabled the elderly and those less able to walk to join us too.”

The marchers assembled outside Finchley Central station, before making their way to The People’s Library in Friern Barnet Road to warm up and hear speeches from MPs and politicians including London Assembly Members Jenny Jones and Andrew Dismore, Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and political activist Owen Jones.

Ms Waisel said: “The library was packed with people. We had delegations from all over London and the UK, some from as far away as Newcastle. 

"These people see the One Barnet Scheme as a trial for mass privatisation across the country and want to stop it in Barnet before it spreads and damages the lives of more poor, disabled and vulnerable people.”

BAPS publicity organiser Vicki Morris said: “We chose the name Barnet Spring because of its historic resonances. When a regime despises its citizens, the citizens say: 'We want a say in what happens, we want to campaign for change and demand our rights.' We hope the march will show the council they will pay the political price for what they are doing.”

Ms Wasiel added: "The weather wasn’t very spring-like. People on the march said it reflected the quality of life of people in Barnet, faced with lack of democracy, risks of privatisation and poor quality of life – maybe Barnet Council has outsourced spring already.”