I've recently moved to Nottingham, of all places, but my eyes are still on what's happening in Barnet. We have the depressing but predictable (well, I thought it was predictable) news that Maria Nash's appeal for a Judicial Review of Barnet Council's One Barnet privatisation programme was rejected.
There is some possibility of going higher to the Supreme Court. However, on the basis of Maria losing at the Court of Appeal, Barnet Council signed the two big contracts with Capita. In case you want to know what that looks like, the Council has generously captured the occasion and published the photograph on their website (and, no, they aren't saving taxpayers £126 million).
While I've campaigned against One Barnet for the past four years, I haven't been on the ground for this most recent chapter of the saga, so I'll just provide some links to informed comment below.
Over the next few days I plan to write a few 'parting shots' blogposts reflecting on my experiences campaigning in Barnet and on what I hope to do next. I hope these posts will be useful for readers, and I'm sure they will be useful for my own thinking.
But, for now, back to One Barnet. What are we to make of the Barnet Tories' and Capita's victory? Allow me to quote from Roger Tichborne's "Barnet Eye" blogpost:
If anyone at Barnet Council thinks that the opposition will melt away, it will be the latest in a very long line of very bad judgement calls that they have made.
Appeal Court judges uphold One Barnet judgment - Barnet Eye blog
Justice denied: the One Barnet appeal fails - what next? - Broken Barnet blog
Giving up is not an option for us or any other resident - reaction by Barnet Alliance for Public Services
Capita's takeover of Barnet - Mr Reasonable blog
Mr Mustard no longer believes in Father Christmas - Mr Mustard blog
The One Barnet campaign shows local democracy is alive and well - the Guardian's Hannah Fearn
The One Barnet decision is a threat to local democracy - Roger Tichborne and Barnet Alliance for Public Services reply to Hannah Fearn