Posts tagged ‘Golders Green ‘

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

Who cares about Golders Green High Street?

On Monday Barnet’s  Cleaner Greener etc committee discussed the draft Corporate Plan. I pointed out that Golders Green was not on the ‘Prepare Town Centre Development Strategies/framework for priority town centres and that it should be. Of the 2 Cabinet members present Cllr Melvyn Cohen (Golders Green Ward) dismissed it with a ‘the Cabinet has already decided’ while Cllr Harper (Garden Suburb) saying it affected his ward too suggested we sent a resolution to the Area Environment Committee. This was agreed. Purists may say that Cllr Melvyn Cohen’s ward does not actually take in Golders Green HighStreet but it must be the nearest and most used shopping centre for a great many of his residents. I was surprised at his dismissive attitude.

Add a comment February 18, 2009

Democracy in action!

Hi everyone-my first blog!

Tuesdays Council meeting gave me the opportunity to speak on policing-what the Lib Dem group believes is that we need more policemen on the beat and more visible policing and that we are suspicious of crime statistics that tell us violent crime is going down when we can see knife murders and racial abuse and attacks going up. We are glad to have the Community Safety Team that operates in our ward. Barnet is a pretty safe place to be but we are not immune as incudents in our Golders Green High Street have shown. (confusingly Golders Green is part of the Childs Hill Ward which I represent as a Councillor).  I also took the opportunity to say how fearlful the Conservative administration must be of our oratorical powers since they only tell the rest of us (I am Lib Dem) which 3 of the 8 or so resolutions we are going to discuss just before that section of the meeting. Childish!

I also took issue with Cllr Coleman on the proposal to charge shopkeepers £1000 to use any part of the pavement.  Personally I like to have vegtables on show and cafe tables on the pavement as long as they are not an obstruction and are kept clean and tidy which is possible under the existing legislation.

Finally if you come to watch a Council meeting you will recognise me – I am the one knitting _it keeps my blood pressure down and in no way stops me from speaking or heckling!  In my non-Council life I teach knitting to adults and you can find out more about that on

Add a comment July 17, 2008


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