10 June 2013

One Barnet - buying a Pig in a poke

The expression to buy a pig in a poke is quite interesting; will Barnet Council get what they think they are paying for or will the council tax paper get roasted?

Mr Mustard was hearing conflicting information about whether the decade long NSCSO contract was going to be signed regardless of an October 13 appeal date for the Judicial Review. He took the bull by the horns and emailed the Leader of the council, Richard Cornelius. Unlike some of his harder questions which are stuck in Richard's inbox (the one about the NSL contract now working which has not yet been answered as it is impossible) a reply came the same day, quite late at night in fact, perhaps Richard is losing sleep now over One Barnet, as he should do:

Sent: 09 June 2013 20:28
To: Cornelius, Cllr Richard
Subject: buying a Pig in a Poke

Dear Richard
I don't like to rely on gossip and presumably you know what officers are up to?

Was an undertaking given to not sign the NSCSO contract until after an appeal which we now know will be in October?

Is the contract going to be signed this month?

Thank you

Mr Mustard

From: Cornelius, Cllr Richard [mailto:Cllr.R.Cornelius@barnet.gov.uk]
Sent: Sunday, June 09, 2013 11:41 PM
To: Mr Mustard
Subject: RE: buying a Pig in a Poke

Dear Mr Mustard

The date is not yet confirmed by the clerks


Sent: 10 June 2013 07:16
To: Cornelius, Cllr Richard
Subject: RE: buying a Pig in a Poke

Dear Richard

Thank you for your email. I am not sure if you mean the date of contract signing or the date of the appeal?

Is the council still going to wait for the outcome of the Judicial Review appeal before signing?

Best regards

Mr Mustard

It is the date of the hearing. The courts do not sit August and September and both QCs have cases in July. The court is also very congested. I do not feel that we could in any way sign a contract without an exit clause should the court order a re-run of part of the the decision making process.



Note that Richard didn't quibble with the email header "buying a Pig in a Poke". It can't have been seen as far wide of the mark then? The title was chosen to make sure Mr Mustard's email stood out in Richard's inbox, mind you, an alarm bell is probably set as a rule in his inbox for when any blogger email arrives.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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