18 July 2011

How to save Friern Barnet Library ?

or, Big Society, Small Council ( the two must go together surely ? )

Mr Mustard went to the Business Management Overview & Scrutiny committee meeting on 11 July 2011. It was whilst Cllr. Rams was "unavoidably detained on business elsewhere" ( what is that a euphemism for ? ) and Officers ( i.e. employees ) were answering the impossible questions that Rams should have been failing to answer that an idea came to Mr Mustard about how to save Friern Barnet library and it is so easy.

The Officers who stepped forward to the committee table on 11 July 2011 were Richard Grice, the Assistant Director of Customer Services & Libraries and Tom Pike, Head of Libraries who Mr Mustard is told is a 'good guy'.

Now what sort of state is customer services in? An absolutely hopeless & chaotic state despite Mr Grice's efforts for at least 2 years.

Here is what Mr Grice said in December 2008 as reported in the Barnet Times. Please remember to come back after you have read the linked article.

Here are some snippets from that article.

The man who holds in his hands the fate of Barnet’s public services admits he has no idea yet who will deliver them in the future, but has ruled out widespread privatisation.

Richard Grice faces the unenviable task of figuring out how to improve Barnet Council’s services while delivering budget cuts worth millions.

He added: “The report isn’t a mass outsourcing or privatisation of services."

Oh dear Mr Grice. Didn't Mr Mustard recently saw a report entitled "New Support & Customer Services Project: Business Case" which offered a basket of services for privatisation, including Customer Services. of which you are the Head.

So the conclusion that Mr Mustard draws is that we don't need you Mr Grice for 2 reasons:-

1   You have failed since 2008 to lick the department into shape.

2   The department is being out-sourced so you won't be needed to manage it anyway; have you asked non-stick what will happen to you after your department has gone?; there won't be any cushy little numbers left once 70% of the staff have been out-sourced. 70% of the management will surely have been chopped in the Barnet night of the long knives. Mr Mustard will have to put in an FOI request to find out the date to make sure he is home that day.

So your salary of £104,673 ( + pension +national insurance + other overheads of your post, say about £200,000 in total ) can be spent instead on the staff and overheads of Friern Barnet library.


Yours frugally
Mr Mustard

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