29 December 2011

The third interesting Christmas Eve DPR - hidden signs

Mr Mustard had to look hard to find this DPR numbered 1498.

DPR 1498 Dollis Valley Walk Signage

Now why was this DPR hidden so far back in the lists? Go to the DPR page here and then page down 3 times and then under the date of 31 October ( which does not appear anywhere on the DPR control sheet ) one finds this DPR. Anyone would think that the council didn't want the public to find it?

The DPR details yet another failure in the directorate of Ms Pam Wharfe, EPR, to follow simple rules and then the attempt to regularise the situation looks, to Mr Mustard, to be inadequate. Here are the rules:

Contract Procedure Rules

So back at the start of 2011 Barnet Council tried and failed to find more than one supplier of signs and map boards ready, willing & able to make signs and maps for the Dollis Valley Greenwalk. This is not the hardest thing to do. There are loads of makers of signs and map boards ( just google those phrases ) and perhaps if the council asked 5+ potential suppliers instead of just 2 ( para 8.4 of the DPR ) then they would get 2 or more positive responses. In Mr Mustard's decades of experience in business there is rarely a shortage of willing suppliers.

Table 6.1 of the rules says that a minimum of 2 quotes must be returned and if not REPEAT COMPETITION which has yet again, as for RM Countryside and the removal of parking meters, not been done.

Ms Wharfe has, the report says, managed to get the "Commercial" Director Craig Cooper to agree that "the market has identified a single supplier for this requirement" so this must surely mean that every single sign in the whole of the countryside has been made by Fitzpatrick Woolmer? No! what really not, are you sure? So this attempt to correct the rule breach by virtue of para 6.11 of the rules is just not playing by the rules; it is a breach of the constitution. Just because you both get paid £132,480 p.a. does not mean you are able to simply do as you please.

What do the rules say? They say that is there is an oversight of this nature caused by urgency that approval should be sought from a Cabinet Committee (Mr Mustard can't see them causing trouble) under rules 5.7 & 5.8. Please could all Directors read this rule and implement it in the future.

One final point. Para 10.1 of the DPR. Should it not be "retroactive" authority rather than "retrospective" authority?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. Every stone you upturn, Mr M, reveals a grubby world underneath it.

  2. signs and portents, Mr Mustard: Mrs Angry predicts an interesting New Year ahead in Broken Barnet ...


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.