30 April 2012

Walkley's Weekly Warblings 27 Apwil 12

Do bogs come more unsightly than in avocado?
Red ink by Mr Mustard
From: First Team
Sent: 27 April 2012 16:18
To: AllStaff

Subject: Weekly message from the Chief Executive (sorry, another one)

Firstly, following on from last week’s mail (sic, email) I wanted to update you on the restructure report that went to General Functions Committee on Monday evening. The report was agreed by the committee so the process of recruiting to a new structure can now begin. I will keep you updated. Mr Mustard did not bring you last week's messages because they were so long and he was abroad. There is the umpteenth restructure of the management team. It won't be an improvement and redundancy costs will be enormous and not warranted.

I am coming to the end of a round of ‘ward walks’ and yesterday I spent the afternoon in Hendon Ward with Councillors Shooter (did he buy the coffees again?) and Finn. I earnt £386 by going for a walk. It was a fascinating afternoon but the real high point was re-visiting Brent Park.

I visited Brent Park two years ago on a ‘ward walk’ and wrote about it in my weekly message. At that time the message was one of disappointment at the state of the park. The environment was neglected and it looked like a place in terminal decline. The question is why a council would let one of its parks become so neglected?

Now, two years on, investment, some real creativity (there is imaginary creativity, just think One Barnet) and lots of hard work have seen the place transformed. It was an absolute pleasure to be there instead of at NLBP worrying about parking. So I want to congratulate Andy Tipping in particular and the whole Greenspaces Team for what has been achieved. Did RM Countryside do any non-compliant works on improvements to this park? What was once an overgrown park with an unsightly bog (see above) is now an emerging wildlife habitat (a bog is also a wildlife habitat) alongside a lake with excellent walks.

Another good news story came from a meeting yesterday. I wasn’t able to attend but Stephen Evans, AD Strategy, (Strategy and Policy per the management chart)  reports:

"Yesterday, the Leader hosted an event at Middlesex University (once described as "crap", how apposite, by Brian Coleman)  to inform local businesses of the financial support available to those thinking of taking on an apprentice. Around 30 local businesses were present to hear speakers from the National Apprenticeship Service, Barnet College and the University talk about what’s on offer." Well, what is on offer?

Supporting young people into work is a top priority for the council and there is an enormous amount going on across the borough, with the College and University, amongst many others, doing much to support this agenda.

"We are looking at how we can provide targeted support to get young people into employment, as well as supporting what’s already going on through our local partners." Who said this is not revealed. Are we all mind-readers?

We will keep you updated on progress.

Finally, this time next week I will be in the throes of the count process for the London Mayoral and GLA elections. Polling day means many of you will be out in Polling Stations across the borough. It’s a long hard day (yes, counting past 3 can be taxing) and I hope all goes well for you. Will it go well for Brian Coleman? I’m sure I’ll see many of you as I am out and about. Not if we see you first Nick!


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