PLANS to change the way public services are commissioned in Barnet will make it a “dog eat dog” system, according to one service provider.

Robert Johnson, of Barnet Voice, made the comments while speaking to a rally of people upset with plans to cut public sector services in Barnet at the artsdepot this afternoon.

He told the assembly his group, a grass-roots mental health organisation, faced a 33 per cent drop in funding and an “uncertain future” helping people in the borough.

He said: “In 2011 we have got no idea where we're going to go with our group. We might be part of the council's agenda, but if we are it's going to be dog eat dog.

“Who suffers when it's dog eat dog? Everybody getting the service. We have got to stay together and try and fight them.”

Finchley Catholic High School sixth-form student Alex Clayman also addressed the crowd about a march he organised in Finchley to protest at plans to increase tuition fees and cut the educational maintenance allowance.

UNISON's deputy secretary in Barnet, Linda Perks, told the meeting the government was “allowing private businessmen to make profit” at the expense of the public purse.

She added: “The whole thing about easyCouncil is they say it's about saving money but it's not, it's handing money out to other people.

“The idea for it was had a long time ago by the Tory party think tanks, long before the banking crisis of 2008.”

Lawyer Yvonne Hoosacks, who fought to save sheltered housing wardens with a group of residents, told of how her practise had been told this week they no longer had legal aid funding to continue the campaign, but vowed to continue as long as she was asked to do so.

Boz Boorer, who plays guitar for Morrisey, also played some acoustic numbers, and told the audience he had learned to play the guitar and clarinet close to the artsdepot.

Lib Dem activist Roger Tichborne, who has organised a petition against any planned closures of local libraries, played with his band the False Dots.