Posts filed under: ‘Barnet Council‘




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.”

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Add a comment September 6, 2010

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

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

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

Leader Listens

This link on the Barnet website still seems to be Mike Freer. Not efficient!  Is the new leader Cllr Hillan going to carry on these sessions?….and publish her expenses?

Add a comment January 11, 2010

Inept Tories under new leader

Last night the Tory Administration in Barnet was too bust eating and drinking to come back in the chamber for their policy item.  The Mayor moved on to next business.  This is not a good start for the new leader.

Add a comment December 16, 2009

Freedom Pass

Speaking at last nights COuncil meeting I dismissed the Labour figures intending to show that London COuncils are not being victimised in order to reallocate money to more fruitful Labout Territory. I also pointed out that Londoners are being hit by the double whammy of Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson’s 20% bas fare ruses and likely loss of Freedom Pass grant. However Barnet , whatever the cost to the Borough, will uphold the Freedom Pass for its residents.

Add a comment December 16, 2009

Budget Simulation

Personally I think it would be a better consultation to ask people to list their top twenty Council priorities which would give a view of what residents find the most valuable and a query about the most annoying Council services which would tell the Administration where to make inmprovements. The budget simulator stuff on the website is to my mind not the way to go about the consultation.

Add a comment December 6, 2009

At the last COuncil Meeting we had to decide whether to stay with the current Cabinet and Leader system or go for an elected Mayor.  Personally I am not in favour of either believing that the old committee system where everyone could play a decision making role was far better and kept COuncillors better informed.  However when push comes to shove it seems to me that an elected Mayor is more democratic than a Leader elected solely by the majority group. However, as you might expect the Administration voted through the status quo.

Add a comment November 17, 2009

Easy Council

At Tuesday’s Council Meeting the Administration made clear that they are still sticking to this idiotic theory.  Do residents really want a Council run like a budget airline?

They also refused to sanction any real joined up thinking between Barnet Brent and Camden in the Cricklewood area.  However it does look as though we may get the ‘No drinking zone ‘pushed by my clleague Cllr Monroe Palmer which is very good news.

Add a comment November 8, 2009

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