6 September 2013

Mr Mustard's social and PCN club

The Greyhound, Hendon.
Normally on the second Monday of the month is when Mr Mustard has a little gathering with friends, where he downs a cheeky half of bitter and shares a packet of crisps and conversation. He also takes a preliminary look at any parking tickets that anyone might have managed to pick up. Recently those gatherings have been in the Bohemia at Tally Ho but getting in is a problem now that the pub has been boarded up.

There is a second problem that Mr Mustard's diary is rather full. The council have scheduled some meetings for Monday including the General Functions Committee the rather blandly named committee that deals, amongst other things, with staffing matters. The GFC meeting is at 6pm. Mr Mustard has asked the council by twitter why this meeting isn't at the customary 7pm and hasn't had a reply which won't be "for the convenience of residents". On a previous occasion for a supposed Overview and Scrutiny committee it was arranged early so that the chair could go off to a dinner. He went to his dinner but had to come back on another day for another meeting and deal with Mr mustard's score of questions and make many alterations to the constitution which, but for polite revolt by residents, would have been nodded through unchanged.

You can look at the agenda here. Now a meeting to discuss such a serious topic as moving 256 staff from the employ of the council to a joint venture company with Capita should include a long & comprehensive debate and serious scrutiny but Mr Mustard doubts that it will. 

The second item will be about what conflicts of interest that council nominated Directors of the joint venture company have. This is a subject in which Mrs Angry (of Broken Barnet fame) has previously taken a great interest as unless you have your tanks on their lawn the council seem to have been wilfully blind to conflicts in the past when it comes to employees leaving the council and joining partners who have been or are about to be awarded humongous contracts. So, Mr Mustard can't see this item taking very long either.

If Mr Mustard is right we'll all be in The Greyhound, which is in walking distance of the Town Hall, from 7pm and if he's wrong, we won't! If you follow @_MrMustard on twitter or @BrokenBarnet and probably @barnetbugle who tends to film the meetings, you will get some live updates on the progress of the meeting and be able to gauge what time to leave home in order to join us in the pub.

A different idea is to see "democracy" in action and come to the Town Hall at 6pm and look on the electronic display screen as to which committee room the meeting is in (only choices are 1,2 & 3 - occasionally in the council chamber itself) and join us there. 

Mr Mustard will try to wear one of his avatar plastered t-shirts so you can pick him out.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

Update Friday evening; Mr Mustard may have to update his view of how long the meeting will last although there is history of reports from Unison being treated as invisible. Mr Mustard wonders how a dog can have two masters. he would have thought that an employee cannot have two employers without having two employment contracts? One for the lawyers, independent ones who have nothing to do with One Barnet.

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