Sunday, 18 April 2010

Barnet’s budget for the 2010/11 financial year is approaching a BILLION pounds.

The Overview & Scrutiny Committees of the council are charged with ensuring, on our behalf, that “Cabinet policies” address the needs of all local residents and communities, that mandated services directed by these policies are delivered efficiently and effectively, that our money is spent correctly, identifying mis-management and other failings; and, ensuring that those responsible for these failures are brought to account.

But this is not happening in BARNET

Councillors belonging to centrally controlled national political parties are prevented from attacking their own party policies; even when these policies clearly fail to meet our local needs. As evidenced by events in Barnet, this restriction on the exercise of a councillors’ judgement can not sit easily with either membership of, or the correct functioning, of Overview & Scrutiny committees. It is only the strengthening of these committees with independently minded councillors, free of imposed national political party directives, that will ensure that residents receive the services, transparency and honesty from the council that they deserve.


  1. That's a lot of money. No wonder they can afford to loose that £27 million in Iceland.

  2. Dorothy badrick20 April 2010 at 11:54

    As Chairman of the Residents Association of Barnet, I fully concur with this message. For far too long residents of Barnet have been at the mercy of party politics, vested interests and wannabe MPs. Local issues should reflect local feeling. If you have time go to barnet's website and view their cabinet Resources committee meeting minutes and 'Delegated powers" to see how much local democracy we have lost already and stand to lose in the future.

  3. There are some very complex issues being pushed through the council by officers. These include schemes like the Private Rented Sector Initiative which will invovle Barnet Council entering into commercial joint ventures with developers. Scrutiny committee members should be challenging the strategy on this as it represents significant risks to the Council. I don't see this level of challenge being provided currently and that is why we need capable people prepared to stand up and be counted

  4. dorothy badrick23 April 2010 at 14:55

    If you read the "Constitutional powers" in the various Cabinet Resourses Committee" papers you will see that there is never any "constitutional issues". Nothing that significantly affects budgets or policy. These are patent and pellucid untruths. The schemes being looked at have profound, lasting and potentially irreversible effects on budgets and policies. How to get rid of any meaningful local decision making with a few strokes of a signature. It is, frankly, terrifying.