26 April 2012

If it is management's role to plan ahead

then why on earth didn't they see the current parking problems careering towards them when they signed the lease on NLBP (North London Business Park)?

NLBP Brochure

On the entire business park there are only 1,300 or so car parking spaces. The council leases buildings 2 & 4 and elsewhere the Middlesex University occupy some space and there are other tenants so that leaves at most 1,000* spaces for the council. How many people work at the council? (well until they get outsourced) approx 1,500  You can see the problem already. Add in visitors and several coachloads of consultants (except they wouldn't be seen dead on a coach) and attendees to training courses and other meetings in the conference rooms and also factor in that Barnet Council don't actively seek out local workers (who could still walk to walk when it is snowing or if there is a transport strike) and that NLBP isn't exactly next door to a tube station and you end up with nearly everyone using a car to get to work. Essential users have little choice but to drive.

*Update Thursday 26 April. Mr Mustard remembers that he was sent information from a FOI response showing that the council have 800 parking spaces at NLBP and 24 in the cycle rack. 

So whoever signed the lease needs to have a good look in the mirror and ask themselves if they slipped up? You did.

Do you know what would be better than 1 or 2 large buildings? It would be 21 offices, one in each ward, each contributing to the local economy and helping to keep the town centres alive. After all, do street cleaning operatives talk to social services, or environmental health to parking, or car permit issuers to education? no, hardly ever. People don't need to be in the same building as many people email within their own room or even to the adjacent desk (the next door neighbour noticed a flattish tyre on the blogger bus last week and he sent an email. He did come out though, carrying a cup of tea, when Mr Mustard went to the bus to check the tyre).

The point is proved most strongly by the One Barnet mass outsourcing project. Offices of many of our services (parking, DRS & NSCSO) are going to be in places like Croydon, Finchley, Bromley, Newcastle, Bangalore etc so Mr Mustard fails to see the need for a fancy head office in N11 (the word fancy is used to mean large & expensive - about £300,000 will be saved from not paying Comer, the landlord, for car parking spaces alone, at £300 p.a., they are usually included in smaller offices - and Mr Mustard thought, on his recent visit to NLBP that the buildings were too blunt, forbidding and depressing).

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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