11 January 2012

Barnet Council follow Grant Shapps's advice ( for once )

another dirty battle

Back on 19 November the Communities Department put out a press release about the Olympics which included the following phrase:

Local Government Minister Grant Shapps today fired the starting pistol in the race to get Britain warmed up for London 2012 and plan Street Games.

The Minister urged communities across the country to dive right into the spirit of London 2012 and host sporting events in their own neighbourhoods - before, during and after the Games. He also put the ball firmly in the court of local councils, urging them to "high jump over red tape and regulations" and make it easier for communities to come together for sack races, football tournaments and tug-of-war contests in their streets.
It looks, according to this labour party press release, like the "leader" Richard Cornelius and the Cabinet Member for Environment, Brian Coleman, have embraced this idea wholeheartedly and that a tug of war is about to start. You are meant to have eight people in a team but now that the rope has been grasped others may feel compelled to join in and an advantage may be gained by having uneven numbers. 

Mr Mustard has reported on this subject already when he wrote about the DPR that was sneaked out on 23 December and it seems the fog has not lifted.

News from Labour
London Borough of Barnet Labour Group
We’re on your side

Tuesday 10 January 2012
Parking charges may still go up by 5% despite u-turn

Parking charges may still go up by 5% despite an announcement that they wouldn't made by the Leader of the Council before Christmas. The Labour Group called-in the decision to increase parking charges to last night's Business Management scrutiny committee (BMOSC), where Cabinet Member, Cllr Brian Coleman refused to remove the 5% increase in parking charges from the fees and charges report. When Labour raised the announcement by the Leader of the Council in a local press article, Cllr Coleman said - "The Leader can say what he likes."

The proposal to increase parking charges will stay as part of the formal budget consultation, and a decision will be taken once the results of the consultation are known.

Labour's bid to refer back to Cabinet the decision to outsource the parking service to a private sector company was refused by the Conservative majority on the scrutiny committee, but it was still unclear where the overall responsibility will lie.

Labour’s Environment spokesperson, Cllr Kath McGuirk said: "Coleman was very gung ho, but it may all come back to bite him and he is clearly alienating many of his colleagues.

"The Leader of the Council seems to have been overuled by his own Cabinet Member - it does beg the question who is running Barnet council?

"In the meantime, local residents still have the prospect of another 5% increase in parking charges, while some Conservative councillors shamelessly continue to take up their free parking permit for being a councillor - it's disgraceful."

1. Details of the Labour Group call-ins follow:

Cabinet Resources Report: Fees and charges for 2012/13
Called-in by: Cllr Kath McGuirk
Decision called-in: 1.1 and 1.2
Reason for call-in: To confirm whether parking charges will be going up by 5% as detailed in the report, following the announcement by the Leader in the local press that they won’t.
Objective: To refer the schedule back to Cabinet to withdraw the 5% increase in parking charges from the consultation, and the budget for next year

Cabinet Resources Report: Award of contract – parking enforcement and related services
Called-in by: Cllr K. McGuirk
Decision called-in: 1.1
Reason for call-in: To ask further questions about the location of services in Croydon, the impact on current staff, the equalities impact assessment, to ask about the TUPE Plus offer to staff, to ask about the flexibility of the contract, to ask about income levels and investment;
Objective: To refer decision back to Cabinet to reconsider the award of contract.

2. The Cabinet Resources reports can be found here .

3. Details of the Leader's u-turn on this year's parking charge hike can be found here: Barnet Today

sadly, lots of people are going to have a lot of time to garden this year

The winner of the sack race is a foregone conclusion. The current administration plan to gift their employees, something like 70% of them it would seem, to new employers on a free transfer, which some deft Tupe+ footwork will almost certainly end up with the employees paying the transfer fee in the form of reduced wages, increased hours or redundancy or suddenly finding you have joined East Croydon FC after being a lifelong Barnet supporter. 

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. You will need to explain to the councillors that this 1904 tug of war picture is on a "sports field", or as THEY like to call it, "prime development land opportunity".


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