28 October 2011

Future Shape 6 July 2009

Last month Mr Mustard promised to bring you the next instalment of Future Shape in order to help you understand the history behind OneBarnet.

The report seen by Cabinet on 6 July 2009 is available in full here on the council website and below in the box

6 July 09 Future Shape Complete

So this was the first report about the second phase ( commission; phase 1 was Consolidate ). Nick Walkley was already the Chief Executive and BT's Max Wide was putting his oar in; didn't he go off to help Suffolk which has just decided they don't want to outsource?

The whole of page 2 is simply marvellous. Read it twice and you still can't be sure what is planned.

Page 5 shows savings of between £8m and £16m, rather a worryingly wide variance don't you think?

Page 6 talks about Revenues & benefits - a department which the council want to shoehorn into their call centre which is one of their most stupid decisions. Council tax benefits are some of the most complex questions and simply cannot be properly handled in a call centre.

Also on this page a reference to problems for the pension fund due to workforce reductions. Council management seem to have forgotten this warning.

On to page 13. A new relationship with citizens. The person who types this report didn't understand how numbering works in their software. Mr Mustard advises turning off automatic anything in microsoft products. He directs your attention to para 2.2/3/1 ? In which citizens will have a much greater involvement in designing services and actively participating in improving their lives and contributing to a better Barnet. Mr Mustard does not remember being properly consulted about school crossing patrols, old people's wardens, CPZs or OneBarnet.

Page 24 includes the phrase about potential savings "The estimates are based on high level analysis and have not yet been validated at this stage" which is still the case today.

Paragraph 4.1.4 on page 25 could double up as the Friday joke.

Page 35 sets out 5 very good reasons why Customer Services should remain in-house. They are worth another read by management.

Pages 57 & 58 - risk upon risk but Barnet Council blindly plough on. Who is the driving force for OneBarnet - it's hard to say. When it all finally hits the buffers every councillor and every officer will deny it was them.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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