12 December 2017

Barnet Council have slipped up since 2009

Above is Barnet Council's assessment of their performance faced with the worst snow fall for 20 years and it sounds pretty good. Mr Mustard doesn't remember any particular problems from that time, his work diary looking pretty normal.

You have to ask what has changed since 2009?

The depot has moved out of the borough (a shortsighted decision).

There has been a massive shift away from directly employed staff to outsourcing. The traffic wardens no longer work for the council so unless reusing them for salt spreading was in the contract (Mr Mustard has read it & doesn't remember seeing such a clause and certainly hasn't seen or heard of traffic wardens doing anything other than being as zealous as ever in issuing PCNs) that isn't going to happen. It would also need to be in the employee's contract. Refuse crews are still in house - others will hopefully know what they have been doing.

Winter planning was outsourced to Crapita - Coventry had it much worse than Barnet so the Capita staff at that location may not have made it to work?

Probably due to recent mild winters contingency planning hasn't seemed so important
 Budgets have been cut left right & centre. Street scene has not escaped

Feel free to add other factors in the comments box.

Whatever the reasons we are all suffering the effects of the council's poor planning. 

Q. Why do we pay council tax? 
A. To receive communal services.

Q. Are we getting them?
A. No

Q. Can you get better service for less money?
A. No

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

Update 12 December 2017 at 19:54

No traffic warden has been out gritting pavements which they could usefully have done as we have 50+ of them and they couldn't issue PCNs on Sunday.


  1. As you might have seen, I commented about the situation on Sunday 10th a few times on Twitter.
    I can accept that budgets are tight (so is mine!).
    I can appreciate it might be difficult to decide in advance whether or not to send gritters out.
    I can tolerate that traffic flow on Sunday morning might be a) a lower priority and b) more expensive to manage (overtime?).

    I take a dim view of:
    i) councillors issuing statements that stretch credulity to breaking point
    ii) no engagement (replies) from the council at the time, just tweets with pictures of gritters
    iii) no apology (if indeed they messed up) or explanation (if it was deliberate) afterwards.
    But what really annoys me is the fact they must have known the roads were bad, and made no effort to fix the situation ready for Monday. East Barnet School's texts & emails to parents specifically said the reason for school closure Monday was the road *near the school*. Not generally. Not because teachers had to travel some distance and couldn't be sure to arrive. It was the roads near the school. True, there is an argument that schools seem a bit too ready to close these days, and they might have closed anyway and offered some other excuse. I can handle the fact Barnet Council's uselessness meant I had to postpone a proper supermarket run and a visit to my parents. I'm less tolerant of their uselessness disrupting our kids' education.

  2. Spot on, Charlie. Not only was the planning utterly inadequate, the response was absymal - and continues to be. There are still many areas where people are at risk from dangerous conditions, and little evidence of action.


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