You are probably aware that the Council is consulting on Future Shape. It is looking at a ‘new relationship between the council and its residents:’ (for reference click on this link http://www.idea.gov.uk/idk/aio/9524940 go to p.g 81 for full article).
Two quotes which stand out
“For Barnet, the real prize is in re-shaping public services across the borough, which is why we are looking at ambitious proposals for the future shape of the council itself.”
This is no ordinary consultation, this is about ALL public services (including NHS, Middlesex University, Barnet College, Police) in Barnet. Before the recession, public sector spending has always been subject of scrutiny and debate. Central government and local government arguing over whether sufficient funding has been allocated.
The recession is here and whilst we wait to see if the G20 come up with any solutions…public services still need providing.
One of the obvious savings would be to create a Barnet Public Services organisation which would make efficiencies of scale and may improve Barnet residents experiences of public services.
“There have been many voices encouraging us to jump to conclusions too fast over the last six months, which would result in either poorly thought through recommendations or insufficiently radical thinking.”
This second quote is sober reminder not to rush into big decisions which could have serious ramifications for public services in Barnet. The Trade Unions concerns are that the current proposals need much more time if the Council & their partners want to avoid ‘poorly thought through recommendations..’
But what do residents think?
The Trade Unions with the critical support of Professor Dexter Whitfield will be tabling a report for the Future Shape Cabinet Committee on 8 June. Our members want to deliver better services to residents. If this consultation leads to real improvements for residents then it will have been a worthwhile exercise. We believe residents need to be given an opportunity to give their ideas/opinions for such radical proposals.
If you have ideas on how public services across Barnet could be improved please email the Barnet UNISON branch at firstname.lastname@example.org