Mr Mustard has received unprintable comments with this weekly message and he does tend to agree that it is possibly the most amazing weekly message that he has even seen.
amazingly awful, that is. The blog isn't read so much on a weekend so let Mr Mustard spare his readers and get this message out of the way.
From: First Team
Sent: 15 June 2012 10:57
Subject: Weekly message
Nick has asked me to do the weekly message as this will be my last week in Barnet for the next year or so.
One of the best things about being a Director of Children's Services is hearing the stories of families who've turned their lives around and created a real future and a proper childhood for their kids.
I've seen kids go back to school, adults off drugs and into work, and parents looking after their children rather than the state. All of this in the midst of an Armageddon of budget cuts.
I now have a wealth of these success stories that others want to hear about and I've been given an opportunity to do so through a secondment to the Troubled Families Unit of the DCLG.
Even though the impetus for the national support for this work is born out of the economic crisis, the public sector has always sought the life outcomes we are now delivering here in Barnet for our most chaotic families.
I've said it before and I really don't care about repeating it, I think our staff are brilliant and I have every expectation you will continue to deliver the outcomes Barnet families need regardless of structures, governance and even strategy.
The public sector has never faced a challenge as big as the one we are in now. The dinosaurs had it easy with that meteorite 65 million years ago. And if I stick with this analogy for a while, those councils with a tendency for inertia will be the fossils referred to in the annals of the Municipal Journal of the next decade.
This makes life more than a bit difficult for everyone (sic) of us and I have been frankly amazed at how staff have accepted this challenge and got on with it.
Barnet Council and its partners have been blessed with a hugely talented and committed workforce and a supportive leadership from our Councillors. I have worked in many LAs so I speak with some authority here and I know Nick and my fellow directors share this view.
Better for less, has not just been another political sound bite here in Barnet, it's what's happening. We have seen huge changes already in the last two years and the usage and quality of our services have continued to improve even in these times.
The council has now entered a further significant period of evolution which other councils are watching carefully.
I will be closely following developments over the next year and of course wish you continued success. And if I can apologise in advance, I will be voraciously plagiarising all your work for the benefit of other councils.
Nick will be back next week, so enough from me. I will begin the secondment with the DCLG on the 25th of this month. Thank you for all that you do, have done and will continue to do for those most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
"Who is this Robert fellow"? is the polite version of one of the questions that was asked of Mr Mustard. Of course, as Mr Mustard knows more about the workings of the council than many on the inside, he can tell them that it is Robert McCulloch-Graham who is off on secondment for a year, taking his delusions of grandeur with him.
So, is Barnet a better place thanks to 3 years of paying Robert £165,504 p.a.? (2011/12 rate)
How was the final performance report for his department? It should be good after 3 years in charge? Here it is. The red ink is the council's and not Mr Mustard's this time.Barnet Council Children's Service q3 2011/12 Performance
A deeply unimpressive state in which to leave a department after 3 years of management. Only 60 managers submitted a monthly absence return (the basics not being done) a HR rating of negative 4.5 suggesting the staff are not being properly managed and 23 cases (3%) of Employee Relations Cases.
Let us hope things improve now.