20 July 2011

It only hurts when I laugh

Mr Mustard blunders about the Barnet Council website in his spare moments.

He thought he would just check what the Pledgebank was doing to see if taxpayers were getting any value yet for the £30,000 of their money spent on it. Oh yes, a new pledge has appeared. Let's take a look at it together.
Fostering for the impecunious anyone ?

Mr Mustard is being a bit slow? What on earth has looking for new foster parents got to do with people who are a bit strapped for cash? Does Barnet Council really think that the best place for children who need foster parents is with residents who do not have enough money? This pledge has all the hallmarks of being put in to pad out the paucity of pledges.

( Actually it reminds Mr Mustard of one of the clauses in the draft allotment Agreement. The Council want anyone who goes bankrupt to be given notice on their allotment. Why? You will get your workhouse Mrs Angry even though you were only joking, as usual. Of all things that might keep someone who has hit the buffers sane, and their children in potatoes, is having an allotment. It is great for mental health to work in the outdoors, the achievement of growing something, not paying over the odds at the supermarket for vegetables etc etc. )

If there is a shortage of foster parents in Barnet, as there is, and nationally, then a more innovative approach is needed than this stupid one. Whoever decided to put this pledge on the system should be sent home without a payoff.

Secondly, is it really the role of Barnet Council to provide household budgeting workshops ? Wouldn't this be better done by the Citizens Advice Bureau or any of the other free sources listed on this link ? Free money advice

Who from the Barnet Council Finance Team is going to give this advice ? It surely can't be Mr Traversty "My first piece of advice is to get yourself a local authority contract at £1,000 a day and excuse yourself from PAYE". Anyone who earns that much, secure job, pension, long holidays etc. is in no position to understand the problems of debt.

The second piece of advice given out by the Finance Team might be "don't put all of your eggs in one basket, such as an about to go bust under-performing bank in Iceland" ?

The third piece could be "don't sign up for Agreements that oik you in with a cheap offer and then get very expensive and you can't cancel the contract - SAP say"

It might be churlish of Mr Mustard to point it out but the A-Z index is as rubbish as the rest of the Barnet Council website. It is evident that the entries are intended to be in alphabetical order. Pledgebank does not therefore sit between Pest Control & Pitch Hire. It should be in B for Bin.

Whilst we are on the subject. The lists of Expenditure over £500 do not seem to be in the index at all. Is that because the Council don't want us to find them ?  It is well out of date, the A-Z list. Future Shape is listed, so passé, but not OneBarnet. 

Too busy with OneBarnet to attend to the basics, that's OneBarnet.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. what a peculiar idea ... they really are more nuts than we suspect ... although I suppose there could be thousands of Barnet residents as we speak unable to sleep, plotting how they will take in a few orphans from the Broken Barnet workhouse in order to persuade the council to show them how to write a shopping list. I imagine this brilliant scheme come from the geniuses and walking wikipedias on the council's marvellous insight team.

  2. Mr. Mustard will be pleased to know that his good friends at Agilysis are creating a brand new One Barnet website as he types.

  3. Ooh do tell Beestrust. Do you have the address of it - wasteofmoney.co.uk maybe ?


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