1 July 2011

For and on behalf of 99% Not the Barnet Eye

This text in blue is from the blog of Robert Rams. Mr Mustard has commented in red.

Last night (29 June), the business case for the New Support and Customer Service Organisation project was approved by Cabinet Resources Committee. Mr Mustard was there. For a start its Services not Service.

This decision gives the council permission to proceed with the procurement process to find a strategic partner to deliver back office and customer services. Although Councillors Rams & Harper patted each other on the back about how marvellous this project is Councillor Cornelius, the leader of the Council said that "he was particularly reassured that the Contract had to come back to the Committee under paras 1.2 & 1.3" and that "The devil will be in the detail" and that "It needs much greater member detail". So in Mr Mustard's eyes the Leader is certainly not sure about this idea.

The private sector is well placed to provide support services at a lower cost than the council ever could. Unsubstantiated rubbish. The Council spends £900m p.a. so it has leverage.
Specialist suppliers provide these services as their core business; they have access to industry expertise, they can take advantage of economies of scale, and they can access the latest and best technology to help them deliver better services. So could an outfit the size of Barnet Council.

Barnet’s customer services need significant investment to improve resident access to council services but the council simply doesn’t have the money. Tripe. Just let residents ring each service directly. A central point is the worst solution.

The private sector can provide the financial support we need to improve and modernise customer services. And then they will send you the bill.

I don’t believe residents are concerned about who provides back office services to the council. Mr Mustard is a resident. He is concerned about all the spending of the Council and the way they waste money.

Indeed every time we, or other councils, ask residents how they want us to deal with a reduced budget, we are asked to reduce back office costs. One would have thought you might have done it by now then. Your solution, OneBarnet is idiotic.

Residents seem far more interested in Barnet doing what councils are supposed to do – delivering the best quality front line services. Mr Mustard will settle for an acceptable service at an acceptable price.

Over the life of the contract, we will make significant savings, which will free up resources for our highly rated core services. Guesswork.

You can read the business case on the Barnet Council website. Mr Mustard has. It lacks detail. It has been taken apart by Dexter Whitfield.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. Dear Mr Mustard,

    Thank you. I couldn't have put it better

  2. What sort of world does Robert Rams inhabit? That is presuming he actually believes any of this shite. (Do excuse me, Mr Mustard).

    Any fool knows that the number one priority of any private company will be profit: profit cannot be made from services such as these without having an impact on standards.

    Barnet has always been one step - or more - behind the political consensus on any given issue. All over the country local authorities are dumping the idea of mass outsourcing, the government is dumping the idea of mass outsourcing, but here we are in Barnet carrying on regardless. They are a bunch of reckless fools.

  3. I think Roger's colourful language is beginning to rub off on us both Mrs A, so you are excused. Yesterday I was tweeting about ram's testicles ( small "r", and small testicles probably ! ) but I don't want you to have to spend the day with that sort of image in your head !

  4. I visited the Ace Cafe on the North Circular Road (the biker's cafe). I saw a poster there from years ago, of a reckless biker accelerating over a blind hill. We can see there is a big truck coming the other way, that he will inevitably crash into.

    It rather describes Barnet Council, doesn't it?


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.