9 August 2011

The One Barnet Framework - #2 - Drivers for change

click twice to enlarge - back to return

Those heady days of 2008 before One Barnet & before Mr Mustard when Future Shape was the name of the game. What is so unsatisfactory about reports of this type is that they don't really say anything exact.

1. The Pinkham Way Incinerator blog has some useful figures here. You have failed to find challenging new ways to tackle this particular problem then Barnet in the last 2 years as recycling rates have barely moved. Have you spent much money on initiatives to improve recycling? One initiative you have taken is to stop producing the Recycle from Home Newsletter ( not that Mr Mustard remembers ever seeing one ) in order to save £31,000 p.a. Will stopping that lead to an increase in recycling ?

2. One of the biggest financial pressures for Barnet Council is that they deposited £miilions in an Icelandic bank and can't get it back (yet). Not much anticipation on show then was there? The money has been stuck in Iceland since October 2008. It is now nearly 3 years later. Recovery of the money is looking doubtful.

3. Resident Satisfaction. Look at the chart at the top right. What are those numbers ? Presumably some sort of satisfaction score but who knows. Also the chart refers to customers - not to residents and the covering report refers to public satisfaction. Mr Mustard would have liked to have seen a list of the  services which have supposedly seen consistent improvement as otherwise the sentence is just empty words.

We were right in 2008. Were we? what about? So right that we still need to find new ways to tackle challenging problems 2 years on. One Barnet is certainly a challenging problem that needs tackling.

Is there certainty about the next 3 years? The Communities Department only published the provisional funding settlement the month after this Framework. Perhaps Eric Pickles MP rings Barnet and gives them a heads up.

Mr Mustard is amazed to read that Digital technology continues to grow. Does that mean that Barnet Council are going to embrace bloggers. Somehow Mr Mustard doubts it. Residents will continue to expect........

Now Mr Mustard thinks that the Big Society first came to light in the 2010 Conservative general election manifesto and so it would be better to say that this is echoed in Barnet's policy and not the other way around. ( Big Society : Not Big Government it said )

Mr Mustard thinks that some of the management might struggle to manage joined-up writing never mind joined-up services.

Come back soon for the next exciting instalment.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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