Same Difference

The “easyCouncil” model of no-frills local services faces a high court challenge today, with locals from the London Borough of Barnet, including the disabled resident Maria Nash who is bringing the action, calling for a £320m privatisation deal to be scrapped.

The judicial review will examine one of the most radical and controversial projects by an English council to respond to deep Whitehall cuts which Barnet have labelled “One Barnet”. Nash, 67, a former holistic therapist who relies on publicly funded care assistants, has said she fears for her life if responsibility for her support is transferred from the council to the private outsourcing firm, Capita, in April. The judicial review of the legality of the contract means the signing of the deal, which was supposed to happen at the end of January, has been delayed.

Protesters from the campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts and the local Barnet Alliance…

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