EZ council my RS

There was a lot of fuss last year when Barnet council announced that it would be adopting a ‘no frills’ service. An ‘Easy’ council if you like. Residents would get a very basic service and any extras would have to be paid for. Many services would be outsourced from private companies while council staffing is cut.

 But the peasants are revolting. Barnet residents haven’t taken this lying down- there have been a series of demonstrations and meetings calling for an end to the cost cutting, especially when the most vulnerable members of society –the elderly and very young- are involved. There is a campaign to keep libraries open after it was suggested that reading real books was a rather outmoded idea and that residents who wished to cling to their old ways could pick up their books in Tesco’s and pop along to Starbucks to have a read.

 Meanwhile Lambeth council have announced plans to become a cooperative (I hope they do those nice fairtade chocolates) and encourage local community groups and individuals to help run things. Well that’s me sorted out after redundancy from my own council then. Perhaps I’ll pop along to Brixton town hall and offer my services to housing. Maybe take a broom with me and give Rush Common a little sweep on the way.

 I wonder how many other councils will choose the no frills option or the cooperative route after the Comprehensive Spending Review and whether this is the future model for council services.

 This summer I went on holiday with EasyJet. I took my own snacks (£4.50 for a buttie? You’re having a laugh), I packed light so I didn’t incur luggage penalties and I queued. And I queued and I queued. There was rather a Dunkirk spirit about it as we swapped horror stories. A mother travelling alone with three children under the age of seven told me how she was separated from her kids on the flight over because there weren’t four seats together. The mum pointed to her toddler who was sucking her thumb and clutching a blankie.

‘They wanted her sit on her own!’ she said.

 Well the flight- perhaps like the easy council model- did what it was supposed to do and got me quite nicely from A to B eventually.

 An adequate, basic service.

 But I’d rather travel BA.

 Wouldn’t you?

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6 Responses to EZ council my RS

  1. Samwise says:

    “I’d rather travel BA”.

    And yet, you didn’t. Why not?
    Perhaps something to do with the cost?

    • citizenr says:

      Hi and thanks for visiting. You’re right of course, cost is always a factor. In this instance my mother booked us a girls’ trip away. Pensioners, eh? Next year we’ll stay at home.

  2. Stray says:

    I’m hoping Skipton Council will be taken over by Tesco – they really know how to do value!

    The whole outsourcing (council as commissioner only), no-frillz, co-op movement has got to be a winner – after all, we’ve done so well out of moving frivolous items such as dialysis machines and neo-natal incubators to the domain of charity fundraising.

    Who wants to do boring spreadsheets, and have to have difficult arguments about why higher taxation is the fair way to pay for life-saving care, when you can get a Z-list celeb to sit in a bath of baked beans to raise the money from old ladies and school children instead?

    Really the councils are missing a trick here. They should help only the visibly sick or deprived, and hold a local telethon to raise money to pay for the services.

  3. citizenr says:

    I might turn this into a business plan and submit to to the council, I think you’ve hit on something there. I’m making a list of local Z list slebs as we speak…so many to choose from round here.

  4. bone says:

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  5. JGH says:

    Hold on, don’t we have elections in the country? If Barnet are stripping out all their service functions, isn’t it because that’s what the voting public voted for? If they don’t want it, vote for somebody else.

    ….or am I being naive?

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