Barnet Tribalism

The following set of emails will show just how ‘tribal’ and political local government in Barnet has become. There is absolutely no recognition among the Cabinet of this administration that Cllrs might be willing to work together for the benefit of the Borough while still not agreeing with other of their actions, or indeed that Councillors are individuals not ‘groups’. Every Council meeting we listen to the Mayor’s chaplain exhorting us to work togehter for the good of the community.  That is precisely what I became a Councillor to do. The correspondence below between me and Cabinet Member Robert Rams shows the tribal attitude of the Administration. (The motion he refers to is by Cllr Jack Cohen, a vote of no confidence in the Leader, Cllr Hillan.)

From Robert Rams to Cllr Palmer, Following our meeting of a couple of nights ago, we did agree to work closely and for me to keep you fully informed on the whole of the Library review.I am afraid following the actions of your leader and group in saying that you will be tabling a motion of no confidence I am withdrawing this offer. As you said in our meeting this could be an example of the coalition working together – but the actions of your group show that this is only in words and not in actions.I did hope that we could have worked closely on this project as I would have valued your in put but the actions of your group make this impossible
Cllr SusettePalmer to Robert Ram Nonsense. I care about the libraries and will work to improve them whoever is in administration. I don’t have to approve of the rest of the administrations actions. I had already made it quite clear in public what I felt.
 Robert Rams to Susette Palmer With one hand you want to work with me but on the other you want to bring the administration I work in down. Simply you can’t have it both ways.Yes we have differences and there is no issue with that – but this, in my view, over steps the line.If you and your party were genuine in what YOU said about working on an issue like this as a coalition you would withdraw this motion.
 Susette Palmer to Robert Rams
 My feelings about libraries are in no way affected by the disgust I feel at the Cabinet awarding themselves a payrise. I think I made my feelings on this quite clear at the last Council meeting. Despite this I was and indeed am determined to work with whoever is in Administration to further the interests of Libraries in Barnet. I am sorry you dont  feel the same way. I am fed up with the total inability of Cllrs to think outside Party politics. I really cannot see why you are taking this attitude.  
 Susette says, “In summmary,I believe that Councillors should work together on a project by project basis across Party lines.



I think this is what the electorate wants.”


Add a comment September 6, 2010
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All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

Despite the vote of the last Council not to give councillors an allowance raise this year the Tory Administration is tonight proposing a scheme which would double the salary of the cabinet members and give the Leader £54,227 p.a. plus her basic allowance of £10,474 This is outrageous, immoral and unethical at a time when the Leaders of all three major political parties continuallly warn us of the need to cut back. Indeed Cllr Hillan reiterated to the JCCT meeting with the Unions last night that massive budget savings had to be made. Not by her or her Cabinet obviously.
This is a totally unjustified and cynical rise which will cost Barnet an extra £41,000 in a full year.
If the Tory Party vote it through tonight they will show total moral and ethical bankruptcy. I hope that good sense will prevail and they will vote it down.

Add a comment July 13, 2010

The morning after

Interesting result. People cleverer than me will be mulling it over till the pips squeak (yes I know it’s a mixed metaphor ) Glad we got back but sad to loose Duncan and Jeremy. The Borough will be the poorer for it. I will go on dooing my best for the people of CHilds Hill and with their people power behind me I am sure we will be able to make some acheievements.

Add a comment May 9, 2010

It’s time for a change

Last night’s Council Meeting embodied all that is wrong with the 2 party system. It engenders confrontation not co-operation and it is high time we changed it.

2 comments April 21, 2010

Chancellors’ Debate Channel 4

I thought Vince was great-so apparently did the audience. Tories have been complaining bitterly to programme producers. Clearly worried-poor things!

2 comments April 2, 2010

You really can’t fool all of the people all of the time!

According to tonight’s Evening Standard the Tory Lead is down to 2%. Their answer is to airbrush their (and no doubt Cameron’s) image even more by hiring Saatchi & Saatchi. Perhaps the right policies might be more help?

2 comments March 25, 2010

Tory Council Candidate in desperate vote bid.

I have received an email from the Conservative council candidate in Mill Hill asking for my help. Desperation must be setting in!

Add a comment March 17, 2010

Conservative lead drops-if you cant mend a broken road surface how can you run the country?

I see that the Tory lead has dropped to 2% over Labour-and in the middle of their conference-usually conferences put the lead up.  Could it be that the total inability to say what their policy is in any other than the vaguest terms is turning off the electorate?  Or is it the inablity of Councils like Barnet to mend the holes in the road-a very visible sign of inefficiency…..

Add a comment March 1, 2010

Just do it.

Sunday Times reckons Tories now only 6 points ahead of Labour. Please Gordon let’s have an election now and get it over with. The thought of electioneering for the General Election from now ’till May is totally daunting.

Add a comment February 21, 2010

Neighborhood Officers

Yet again I have been asked by a resident what has happened to the neighborhood wardens who used to patrol the streets and report problems with roads and pavements and make sure that builders gave a deposit against possible breakages of paving stones and road surfaces. Yet again I have to say that they were abolished by the current Administration. Part of the Liberal Democrat Council Groups policy for the forthcoming Council Elections is to restore them.

Add a comment February 3, 2010


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