9 August 2011

The One Barnet Framework - #3 - Our overarching aim

Mr Mustard keeps seeing the word overarching and all he can think of is arch villains. All it means is overall; could we use that word please Barnet Council? It is simpler & clearer.

too many lampposts Mrs A ?
So now we will look at the three key principles :
  1. A new relationship with citizens
  2. A one public centre approach
  3. A relentless drive for efficiency
Most residents probably don't want a relationship with the Council; they just want services that work
Mr Mustard doesn't think that people are going to rush to volunteer to do things for the council at the same time as their money is being wasted by the £million on excessive fees for huge numbers of consultants. Why would anyone volunteer when they see non-stick Nick Walkley trousering a pay and pension package of £250,000? ( At the minimum wage of £5.93 p.h. that would take 20 years to earn. )

Mr Mustard does believe in the idea now dressed up as Big Society which has always been alive in the street he lives in. We feed each other's pets, take in parcels, keep an eye on the old folks, keyhold ( no room for Evolution Emergency Response here in High Barnet ) lend and borrow vehicles, have dinners together, share an allotment, have residents' forums in the pub, have a film club etc etc. It does not need the council to put their gold plated oar in.

Whilst Barnet Council should provide new channels for services they have got the forced implementation wrong. Just look at parking; forcing people to pay by mobile phone when not everyone has one; bonkers. Just go with the flow Barnet; don't try and force the pace. Don't make it so that the choice for some services is only via the internet; old people are getting more internet savvy by the year as they grow up with it but other old-fashioned channels must remain. It would also be useful if Barnet Council did actually answer the telephone within 5 rings every time.

It is unlikely that the Council will give out the information needed to hold them to account. They had to buy in an extra stock of black felt tips for redacting documents and many Freedom of Information requests are not willingly answered. FOI will be a subject for a blog on another day.

Do remember that someone has to be employed to produce all this bunkum.
Choice? - Mr Mustard would like to pay with cash for parking. He can't because the machines are broken and he is being forced to pay by phone.

Provide clear information? - Has anyone at Barnet Council ever looked at other Councils' websites. Barnet Council's is not clear. They cannot even get their incomplete alphabetical index into alpha order.

Tailor services? Savile Row it isn't.

    A relentless drive for efficiency.
    Make sure every pound is spent as effectively as possible.
    Mr Mustard is lost for words and so will let someone else talk for him.

    Yours frugally

    Mr Mustard

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