31 January 2012

Yak Yak, Rabbit Rabbit

Mr Mustard chaperoned Mrs Angry today on a visit to the North London Business Park to audit the Members' ( i.e. Councillors' ) Register of Interests. This was carried out in the largest conference room as all of the smaller more suitable meeting rooms in building 4 were engaged. The official Barnet Council chaperone, bloggers cannot be trusted to be left with a public register for even a second, didn't know how to operate the heating in the room so after 2 hours it was chilly enough for a gritting lorry to pass through. Mrs Angry will report in due course on what wasn't in the Register.

Recently Mr Mustard had cause to ask a Freedom of Information question about the Corporate Management Group which meets quarterly and he had read somewhere was comprised of the 100 most senior managers. Mr Mustard is about to give you a list of them but first let us have a suitable musical interlude.

So here is the list of the 145 managers who attend the quarterly talking shop.

Directorate Job Title
Adult Social Care & Health Service Manager
Adult Social Care & Health Customer Care and Business Manager
Adult Social Care & Health Head of Strategic Commissioning and Supply Management
Adult Social Care & Health Head of Performance
Adult Social Care & Health Joint Commissioner, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities
Adult Social Care & Health Head of Practice and Mental Health
Adult Social Care & Health Project Manager
Adult Social Care & Health Service Manager, Learning Disabilities Social Care
Adult Social Care & Health Associate Director, Joint Commissioning
Adult Social Care & Health Customer Finance Manager
Adult Social Care & Health AD Transformation and Resources
Adult Social Care & Health Director Adult Social Care and Health
Adult Social Care & Health Service Manager, Older Adults Community
Adult Social Care & Health Head of Supply Management
Adult Social Care & Health Interim Category Manager
Adult Social Care & Health Deputy Director
Chief Executive Chief Executive
Chief Executive Deputy Chief Executive
Chief Executives Service Strategic Communications Manager
Chief Executives Service Head of Insight
Chief Executives Service Strategic Policy Officer
Chief Executives Service Strategic Policy Officer
Chief Executives Service Assistant Director, Barnet Communications
Chief Executives Service Head of Customer Service Transformation
Chief Executives Service Media Manager
Chief Executives Service Interim Head of Customer Services
Chief Executives Service Assistant Director - Strategy & Policy
Chief Executives Service Commissioning Manager
Chief Executives Service Assistant Director, Customer Services
Chief Executives Service Head of Performance
Chief Executives Service Head of Registration and Nationality Service
Chief Executives Service Internal Communications Manager
Chief Executives Service Head of Revenue and Benefits
Chief Executives Service Assistant Chief Executive
Chief Executives Service Performance Manager
Children's Service Head of Youth & Connexions
Children's Service Manager, Youth Offending Service
Children's Service Principal Educational Psychologist
Children's Service Catering Manager
Children's Service LNI
Children's Service Divisional Manager, Safeguarding
Children's Service Project Manager
Children's Service Divisional Manager, Complex Needs
Children's Service Director of Children's Service
Children's Service Deputy Director, Safeguarding
Children's Service Acting Head of Social Care
Children's Service Assistant Director, Schools & Learning
Children's Service Acting Div. Manager Complex Needs
Children's Service BRSI Manager
Children's Service Assistant Director, Children's Commissioning
Children's Services AD Childrens Social Care
Children's Services AD Policy, Performance and Planning
Commercial Services Head of Estates
Commercial Services Head of Corporate Procurement
Commercial Services Project Assurance
Commercial Services AD - Estates
Commercial Services Commercial Services Director
Commercial Services Project Manager, New Support Organisation
Commercial Services Valuation Team
Commercial Services Strategic Planning Manager
Commercial Services Acting Head of IS Service Delivery
Commercial Services AD Transformation
Commercial Services Project Consultancy Manager
Commercial Services Service Lead, NSCSO project
Commercial Services Assistant Director, Commercial Assurance
Commercial Services Corporate Programmes Manager
Corporate Governance Openess & Transparency Manager
Corporate Governance Divisional Manager - Advocacy (job share)
Corporate Governance Overview & Scrutiny Manager
Corporate Governance Acting Emergency Planning Manager
Corporate Governance Cabinet Advisor
Corporate Governance Head of Governance
Corporate Governance Acting CAFT Manager
Corporate Governance Head of Risk & Insurance
Corporate Governance Divisional Manager Advocacy (job share)
Corporate Governance Director of Corporate Governance
Corporate Governance Assistant Director, Legal
Corporate Governance Divisional Manager - Community
Corporate Governance Divisional Manager - Commercial
Corporate Governance Business Governance Manager & Deputy Head of Governance
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Regeneration & Transport Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Regeneration Development Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Assistant Director
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Highways Manager (Network Management)
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Major Developments Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Area Planning Manager, Finchley & Golders Green
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Head of Planning and Development Management
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Acting EMS (Operations)
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Waste & Sustainability Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Area Planning Manager, Hendon
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Area Planning Manager, Hendon
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Homeless Persons Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Planning IT Services Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Design & Heritage Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Enforcement and Appeals Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Assistant Director
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Business Development Consultant
Environment, Planning & Regeneration DAAT Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Group Manager Community Protection Group
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Housing Strategy & Business Support Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Area Building Control Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Planning Policy Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Acting Assistant Director Housing and Environmental Health
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Parking Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration EMS Transport
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Environmental Service manager (Residential)
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Interim Services Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Enforcement Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Business Performance & Development Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Area Planning Manager, Chipping Barnet
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Highways Manager for Traffic & Development
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Housing Support Service Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Information Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Senior Engineer
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Housing Performance Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Head of Strategy (Planning & Housing
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Area Building Control Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Changes Innovation Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Manager, Greenspaces
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Principle Project Manager
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Interim Director Environment, Planning & Regeneration
Environment, Planning & Regeneration Regeneration
Finance Head of Treasury
Finance Assistant Director, Financial Services
Finance Head of Finance - EPR and Corporate
Finance Assistant Director, Strategic Finance
Finance Head of Finance, SAP systems, Closing & Monitoring
Finance Head of Projects Finance
Finance Exchequer Functions
Finance Assistant Director, Finance
Finance Head of Finance - Adults and Children's
Finance Head of Strategic Finance
HR Health & Safety Manager
HR Interim AD People
HR Head HR Business Partnering & Change
HR Head of HR Service Delivery
NHS Barnet NHS Barnet
NHS Barnet
NHS Barnet
NHS Barnet

Directors in blue, Assistant Directors in magnolia and everyone else on a white background in case you were wondering.

So Mr Mustard asked to see the minutes of this talking shop to be told that there aren't any. Just to be sure he has asked to see any written record whatsoever and if there isn't one he will let you know.

Do you suppose this is the only meeting of lots of management that takes place? Well, there are the FirstStat meetings. FirstStat?

Meetings held by the Chief Executive to challenge and discuss performance issues against corporate priorities.

Mr Mustard is fairly sure that non-stick won't be sat in a room talking to himself. These are held roughly every 2 months. The last one that Mr Mustard knows about was on 13 December 2011 and was in order to look at Barnet’s response to the pan-London disorder: August 2011. Mr Mustard hasn't asked how many people are obliged to attend FirstStat meetings as he can see already see that there are too many meetings involving too many poeple without having precise statistics.

Let us not forget the Council Directors Group which presumably only involves Directors although Mr Mustard won't be surprised if it also includes Assistant Directors. There are minutes to this group which meets fortnightly and Mr Mustard has asked to see them. They have to be redacted and a long delay is on the cards.

Mr Mustard expects that he will receive emails telling him of other regular talking shops that go on. There was one on Monday 30th January 2012. Mr Mustard does not think it achieved much but it was most illuminating. You will need your hankie to dab your eyes with as it is a corker (non-stick has forgotten that jokes are usually on Fridays but perhaps he had to do something important like check the number of available car parking spaces. Mr Mustard didn't even try and enter NLBP in the car; he committed the heinous crime of parking in a side road where there was plenty of room and all for free)

And now a message from a little cheese:
On Monday morning a big management meeting was called, whereby the Big Cheese waxed lyrical about how great Barnet is and how other councils are queueing up to learn from Barnet (oh dear Mr Mustard is rolling around on the floor laughing hysterically; How not to do it is what they come to find out), how they are not going to go back on a decision made two years ago. It was all very over the top. Here is proof that the wheels are starting to come off of the OneBarnet bandwagon.
That's enough on boring meetings.
Yours frugally
Mr Mustard

Jacquie McGeachie - post #2

payments were missing off the over £500 lists for 2010/11

So Jacquie McGeachie started in Barnet as the interim ( for now ) Assistant Director of Human resources in about January 2009.

Here is a short blog which Mr Mustard has borrowed, with permission, from Mr Reasonable

It has puzzled me for some time that Barnet Council's Head of HR is nether mentioned in the list of senior officers salaries nor mentioned in the supplier payments. Following the submission of a Freedom of Information request I can reveal that Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Limited was paid £140,803.28 in 2010/11. (Although the annual accounts say £133,975 - whichever, it is a lot of money)

I think it would be terribly helpful if all the senior officers who are paid as consultants were listed in the official list of senior officers salary that are included in the council's annual accounts. This is something I shall be taking up with the Auditors, Grant Thornton when I meet them in a couple of weeks.

Mr Reasonable's meeting with GT did result in interims/consultants who occupy staff posts being listed in the statutory accounts. Well done Mr R.

What is immediately apparent, if you refer back to Mr Mustard's blog of yesterday, is the absolutely massive jump in the amount paid for the services of Jacquie McGeachie by at least £30,000 This time rather than go through an agency Mrs McGeachie formed her own Limited company on 2 January 2009, Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Ltd ( number  06781904 ). 

Did she suddenly become a much better HR person because the job was 50 miles further south?
Is London Weighting really that high?
Did Barnet Council really need to pay that much?
Was there no-one in London who could have done the job?
Why do most of the senior management live outside of the borough?

How much has been paid in 2011/12? This much in the first 4 months:-

Timesheet ID Week ending Charge £
95457 08/04/2011 2,875
95456 15/04/2011 2,875
95460 22/04/2011 2,300
95455 29/04/2011 1,725
95461 06/05/2011 2,300
95462 13/05/2011 2,875
95463 20/05/2011 2,875
95464 27/05/2011 2,875
97051 03/06/2011 2,300
97052 10/06/2011 2,875
97053 17/06/2011 2,875
97054 24/06/2011 2,875
98410 01/07/2011 2,875
98411 08/07/2011 1,725
98412 15/07/2011 1,725
98413 22/07/2011 2,875
98414 29/07/2011 2,875
Total for 4 months 43,700
Annual equivalent 131,100

It is evident that this is a rate of £575 a day. A good number of 3 and 4 day weeks as well. The whole of HR must be under control. Is she worth it? Come back tomorrow to find out.

Hays have processed the payments since 1 April 2011. This is possibly a desperate late attempt to sidestep Barnet tender or EU procurement regulations as there is a framework agreement in place for temporary help from Hays. You could think of Jacquie McGeachie as a glorified temp, if you wanted to.

Why would someone earning this much money want to sidestep PAYE ( Pay as you Earn tax which applies to employees ) when they are holding a staff position and would still have plenty left in their pocket at the end of the month? Probably because their transport costs are high and if they can convince HM Revenue & Customs that they are a contractor and then set more of these off as allowable expenses against tax ( employees cannot claim any home to work costs against tax ). 

Did Mr Mustard ever tell you that he used to work for the Inland Revenue in PAYE. It was a long time ago but the principle has not really changed. If you are an employee you pay PAYE except in Barnet of course, which is a blog for another day.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

30 January 2012

NSL are soft compared to Barnet Council ( Que Sera Sera )

Before you read this blog post you need a pleasant moment of reflection. Here is Doris Day singing Que sera sera ( whatever will be will be ) and that is exactly how many parking tickets should be issued in Barnet, the number that is appropriate to the circumstances that day and not to a target.

Mr Mustard has followed with interest the diabolical goings-on in Westminster which you can read about in full horrific detail at the Nutsville blog. Why not pop off there and read the whole report and then come back to Mr Mustard for some local numbers. Nutsville blog

Welcome back. That was an enlightening read was it not. Would "NSL management are a nasty piece of work" be a fair description? (feel free to add your own thoughts in the comment box); they certainly are not the type of management that the typical resident of Barnet would like to encounter, mind you we have the ex NCP staffer Mr John McArdle whose photograph wouldn't look out of place on the Nutsville blog once he removes his pork pie hat (if Mr McArdle could enlighten Mr Mustard on his hat style it would be greatly appreciated; it's very smart whatever type of hat it is). Mr Mustard isn't an expert on pork pie hats but the characters on the Nutsville blog look like they are experts on pork pies.

For clarity let us reprint here from Nutsville the NSL target number of PCN per hour. It is 0.9

One NSL manager categorically denied that there was any performance quota for the issuing of PCNs yet Judges accepted evidence that the managers clearly wanted more rather than less PCNs to be issued. This is corroborated not only by an email from Emma Collins, Regional manager within NSL to Jeff Miles and Andrew Davison (then contract manager) dated 9 November 2009 which reads as follows “there are still significant numbers of people issuing at a rate of below .9 per hour …. we should not feel uncomfortable to use the disciplinary process … etc”.
So what is the current rate of issue in Barnet? Let us see. The answer to Q10,  asked by the astute & hard working Liberal Democrat Councillor Jack Cohen at the full council meeting of 24 January 2012, (Mr Mustard was scandalously absent at a snooker match) showed that in 40 weeks of the council tax year which started on 1 April 2011 the total number of PCNs issued was 126,061

(Mr Mustard notes that in most weeks the number of PCNs issued was double that of the previous year; when did Councillor Coleman start to get interested in the parking department, does anyone know?).
Sorry, more maths, but Mr Mustard will take you gently through the numbers. You will soon all be expert mathematicians.
CEOs work 36 hour weeks. there are 52 weeks in the year.
Also note that, according to the delegated powers report number 1277 issued on 8 March 2011 which re-organised the Environment & Operations department (which has already been re-organised again and is now Environment Planning & Reorganisation - a misnomer as advance planning is far from evident) there are 48 Civil Enforcement Officers. 4 of the posts were vacant. There were also 5 CEO supervisors. There are 17 information officers. Information? They don't deal with information. They are there to deal with your appeals. There are also another dozen or so managers.
These overheads are what all the fines we have to pay go towards, ticketing a parked car in a CPZ does not reduce congestion or increase traffic flow; this is all a money making racket.

So now to the maths
126,061 tickets in 40 weeks = 3,150 a week.

Divide by a 36 hour week = 87 tickets per hour
Divide by 48 CEO ( assuming no sickness or annual leave; all covered by temps ) = 1.82 tickets per hour.

Barnet Council are therefore exceeding the typical run rate of NSL by 100%. Do you suppose that Barnet Council will want to go back to 0.9 tickets per CEO per hour.

Imagine that they did. Instead of 163,879 tickets there would only be  82,000 tickets.

Income from PCNs in 2011/12 (per the answer to Q59)- £4,663,112 so if the rate was 0.9 then this represents a potential loss of

£2,300,000. Mr Mustard can't see Mr Coleman voting for that.

So having shown that Barnet Council make NSL look like pussycats Mr Mustard is going to show you that Barnet Council are still not satisfied with a rate of 1.82

Surely not you cry. Oh yes. This must be why some of the CEOs have scooters, in order to increase the issue rate. They can speed from one car to the next. What rate do Barnet Council officers want? The answer is on this document which is part of the Parking Service Team Plan for 2011-12.

click to enlarge, back to return

So this page is concerned with maximising value from the staff. The reference to SCS Links on the left is to Sustainable Communities Strategies which Mrs Angry has her money on for being the new name for One Barnet ( at least One Barnet was short if not short lived ).

So not only do CEO have a tough job on the street they are subject to "rigorous performance management" from the Enforcement Manager and all for £20,205 p.a. Do you suppose that rigorous performance management or RPM is a euphemism for Rate of PCN per Minute? 

But look, what rate per hour is required. Not 0.9, not 1.82 but 2 PCN per hour. 
No you didn't get that wrong. 2 PCN per hour. More than twice the run rate of NSL.

How will this be achieved?

Step 1. Remove all the parking meters and make it near impossible for some sectors of the community to be able to pay.

Step 2. Stop issuing reminders to residents to renew their permits so their permits expire without the resident noticing.

Step 3. Let NSL run riot.

Step 4. Refuse every informal appeal; make it too much trouble to appeal so that many residents give up and pay rather than go to PATAS ( Parking and Traffic Appeals Service ).

Step 5. Don't answer 40% of phone calls to the parking department.

Step 6. Take away free bays.

Is this the sort of borough we want to live in? One where motorists are treated as cash cows?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard