16 November 2011

The One Barnet Partnership Board

Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb
( Picture credit : herbalremedies )

One Barnet is probably the most fundamental and far-reaching change programme ever undertaken in Barnet. Probably only 1% of the residents of Barnet, who are funding it, have heard of it. There has been no meaningful consultation and no presentation of it by the Leader of the council. It is being progressed as quietly as possible and yet it might mean that hundreds of jobs could leave Barnet and end up in Bangalore ( Mr Mustard has nothing against Bangalore - it's just a name that goes well with Barnet and lots of jobs are out-sourced to India ).

Update 08:21 - someone has landed on this blog from Tamil Nadu in India, only 200 miles from Bangalore, after searching for 
"daniel seal + assistant cabinet member  + barnet" 
so maybe there have been some enquiries in India.
Firstly you need to understand the management structure of One Barnet ( if you do, please let everyone at the council know what it is ! )

click to enlarge; back to return

So here are the minutes of the March 2011 meeting of the One Barnet Partnership Board which according to Robert Rams' blog meets every 2 or 3 months ( I won't give you a link - if you really want to look at his blog you will have to find it yourself - it really isn't advisable ).

Was this a really productive use of so many people's time ?

Why has this board not met since March 2011 ?

Why were the minutes secret until March ?

Why are all Councillors not invited to attend if they so wish ?

Mr Mustard sent in the following questions under the Freedom of Information legislation.

Dear Sirs

I see from Cllr Rams's (sic) blog that the OBPB meets every 2 or 3 months.

The latest minutes on the council website are from March 2011.

Has the OBPB met since then please?

If it has please send me a copy of the minutes now that they are a public document.

If the OBPB has not met since March 2011 what is the date of the next meeting please?

I have struggled through much of the Constitution without finding the rules for the conduct of the OBPB. Please can you point me at the correct section of the constitution or website page.

Are the meetings open to the public & if not, why not?

Are the meetings open to all councillors?

Thank you for your assistance

Yours sincerely

and here is the reply

1. The OBPB has not met since March 2011. There are no scheduled future dates at the moment. Partnership arrangements are currently under review and the cabinet Forward Plan includes an item scheduled for the 14 December 2011 Cabinet ; Committee Papers.

2. The OBPB is the current name of Barnet's Local Strategic Partnership (LSP). ( would you have worked that out; Mr Mustard would not have ) Article 10 of the Constitution includes information on the LSP.

3. Government guidance on LSPs and their constitutional status (Here at the Communities department) does not specify whether meetings should be open to the public. The meetings are not at present open to the public, nor to all Councillors, unless specifically invited. However it was agreed in January 2011 that minutes should be published. ( Mr Mustard keeps hearing how "Open and Transparent" Barnet Council are. If that truly is the case these meetings should be open to the all councillors and the public. Secret meetings are bad. )
Mr Mustard believes in simple management structures. This looks like one layer that could be removed without any ill effect.  After all, it has done nothing for 8 months. 
Yours frugally
Mr Mustard


  1. it's obvious, isn't it? it's supposed to be a partnership - we don't have those in Barnet, and it's supposed to publish minutes for the sake of transparency - again not something we want here in this borough: what do we do then? Stop meeting.

  2. When Suffolk were going down a similar route, before they saw sense, some connected with the council were receiving 'freebies' from the companies they were negotiating contracts with. No doubt you have checked the register of interests, and register of gifts and hospitality. Suffolk are still trying to keep the scrutiny, if any, of one freebie a secret. Complaint now with ICO.



I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.