“Giving With One Hand And Taking With The Other”
Barnet Council Giving With One Hand And Taking With The Other
On January 23rd Barnet Council’s Adults and Safeguarding Committee voted to make cuts of £458,373 to Early Intervention and Prevention Services. These include ending the funding to Inclusion Barnet (a local charity) to provide peer support planning and brokerage, which the Council claim will save £73, 261.5.
The Council’s reason for this is that there is lower level of use for this service than anticipated, and that this work can be done by Barnet Social workers.
This is despite 83% of those consulted, disagreeing with the move.
Yet this is the same Council that is giving Inclusion Barnet between £25, 000 and £35,000 a year to take over the running of East Barnet and South Friern Libraries, despite opposition to this voiced in consultations, petitions and protests since 2014.
Barnet Council are withdrawing funding to a local charity with the necessary expertise. to provide a service well regarded by the public. Yet are giving this organisation, that has no experience of running libraries, funding to replace experienced and qualified library workers. Inclusion Barnet are losing funding to provide a service because of “low level of use” but the libraries the Charity will run will only be open 15 hours a week which will certainly reduce level of use.
There is little logic in this decision but reason is something not to be expected from an administration hell-bent on cutting services and reducing the quality of life of the people of Barnet.