4 October 2011

An invitation to Councillor John Thomas from the Famous Five

The Famous Five Barnet Bloggers have Plenty of Fun with the democratic processes of consultation and community engagement.

Barnet bloggers look forward to meeting Cllr Thomas to discuss Barnet Council’s priorities.

Dear Councillor Thomas

We, bloggers of Barnet, are most pleased that in your recent YouTube broadcast you express yourself keen to engage with local residents and discuss ways to improve Barnet.

As you are no doubt aware, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP recently commended the bloggers of Barnet for their great work exposing the MetPro scandal. The subsequent investigation has highlighted all manner of problems with Barnet Council's procurement procedures which we are promised will now be rectified.

Since we are all motivated by the desire to help you improve Barnet still further, we are pleased to invite you for a live, televised discussion, to be broadcast on www.GotSeeN.com, at a time to suit you.

We are sure that there are many subjects about which we could have an interesting and informative discussion.

As public spirited citizens we are willing to meet all the costs of staging this event and broadcasting it live on the internet. We also guarantee to afford it maximum publicity and coverage through our blogs.

We are happy to discuss any topic and suggest that if you let us know in advance the topics you want to cover, we will do our homework so as to ensure a fruitful discussion.

We would be happy to broadcast either from the Barnet Council offices at North London Business Park or a venue chosen by us.

Subjects we think you might be interested to discuss are: One Barnet, Cabinet Members’ allowances, executive pay, waste within the council, the number of highly paid contractors working for Barnet, cost overruns on projects such as Aerodrome Road, CPZ charges, Icelandic investments, over-development and the strain it puts on infrastructure.

We look forward to hearing your response.

Best wishes

Derek Dishman
John Dix
Vicki Morris
Theresa Musgrove
Roger Tichborne

Alternative Residents Forum, Cypriot Centre, Britannia Road, N12, 7pm Tues


  1. (copied from 'Broken Barnet')

    The bloggers came to the Great Business Park about ten past five. Although it was called Great, it was really very small. There was a little tea-place that said 'Home-made cakes and jams', so they went in there for tea.

    Councillor Salinger who kept it was a plump, cheerful soul, fond of children. She guessed she would make very little out of the tea she served to five healthy children - but that didn't matter! She set to work to cut three big plates of well-buttered slices of bread, put out apricot jam, raspberry, and strawberry, and a selection of home-made buns that made the children's mouths water.

    She knew Councillor Thomas quite well, because he had sometimes been to her cottage with his cabinet colleagues, and Brian always charged it to expenses.

    'I suppose you'll be going to interview 'em tonight?' she said to Mr Mustard, and he nodded, his mouth full of ginger cake. It was a lovely tea. Vicky felt as if she wouldn't be able to eat any supper at all that night! Even Mr Offord's dog Max seemed to have satisfied his enormous appetite.

    'I think we ought to pay double price for our gorgeous tea,' said Mr Reasonable, but the woman wouldn't hear of it. No, no - it was lovely to see them all enjoying her cakes; she didn't want double price!

    'Some people are so awfully nice and generous,' said Mrs Angry, as they mounted their bicycles to ride off again. 'You just can't help liking them. I hope I can cook like that when I grow up.'

    'If you do, Mr Mustard and I will always live with you, and not dream of getting married!' said Roger, and they all laughed, as they gathered their video equipment together. Councillor Thomas was going to be such a good sport, and they were on a really spiffing adventure!

  2. An excellent comment thank you Baarnett - I think spiffing is a spiffingly good word - and our invite is a simply spiffing wheeze - will Cllr Thomas be a good egg and join in the fun or is he a rotter ?

  3. A brilliant light suddenly pierced through the trees and fell on Mr Mustard. He blinked.

    'Ah — so there you are, you little misery!' said a harsh voice, and someone came striding over to the dell. Somebody else followed behind.

    'What do you mean?' asked Mr Mustard, amazed. He could not see who the men were, because of the brilliant torch-light in his eyes.

    'We've been chasing you for miles, haven't we? And you thought you'd get away. But we'd got you all the time!' said the voice.

    'I don't understand this,' said Mr Mustard, putting on a bold voice. 'Who are you?'

    'You know very well who we are - we're Metpro Security,' said the voice. 'Didn't you run away screaming, as soon as you saw our 4x4? Anyway, we soon got you, didn't we? Now, you come along with us, my pretty!'

    All this explained one thing clearly to Mr M — that it was the 'Banner-Snatcher' they had been after, for some reason or other — and they thought it was him!

    'I'm not the ecclesiastical gentleman you're looking for,' he said. 'You'll get into trouble if you touch me!'

    'What's your name, then?' asked the first man. Mr M told him.

    'You can't fool us with that baby-talk,' said the first man. 'You're the Banner-Snatcher we want, all right, see?'

    'I'm not!' shouted Mr M, as he felt the man's hand clutching his arm suddenly. 'You take your hands off me. You wait till Borough Commander Basu hears of this!'

    'He won't hear of it,' said the man. 'He won't hear anything at all! Come on — and don't struggle or shout, or you'll be sorry. Once you're in Totteridge we'll deal properly with you!'

    Mrs Angry was sitting absolutely petrified up in the tree. She couldn't move or speak. She tried to call out to poor Mr Mustard, but her tongue wouldn't say a word. She had to sit there, and hear her brother blogger being dragged away by two strange and unlicensed ruffians. She almost fell out of the tree in fright, and she heard him shouting and yelling when he was dragged away. She could hear the sound of crashing for a long time.

    She began to cry. She didn't dare to climb down, because she was trembling so much she was afraid she would lose her hold and fall.

    She must wait for Roger and Mr Reasonable to come back. Suppose they didn't? Suppose they had been caught too? She would be all by herself in the tree all night long. Mrs Angry sobbed up in the tree-top, holding on tightly.

    The stars came out above her head, and she saw the very bright one again.

    And then she heard the sound of footsteps and voices. She stiffened up in the tree. Who was it this time? Oh let it be Roger and Mr Reasonable and Max; let it be Roger and Mr Reasonable and Max!


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