24 June 2012

What London Councils think the role of a councillor is

This is some pre-reading for you in advance of a post that is coming out at 8am tomorrow.

As most readers will know one councillor has had the habit for a long time of refusing to respond to correspondence that does not come from a ward constituent even  though he was on the Cabinet and he was the GLA member for the whole borough. If anyone else had been that councillor they would have been, Mr Mustard expects, prepared to correspond on any topic affecting a council tax payer in Barnet (and Camden).

Mr Mustard has also noted that other councillors have deleted emails unread. This is not an accidental deletion that only happens to Mr Mustard, it has also been noted by Roger at the Barnet Eye.

Mr Mustard has received deleted unread messages from the computers of the following councillors:

Maureen Braun
Daniel Thomas (although he probably reads them on his work system)
Kate Salinger (Brian reads them to her?)
John Marshall
Geoffrey Johnson
Agnes Slocombe
Anita Campbell
Alison Cornelius (just once, Richard could have told her the content)
Julie Johnson

It could be that they read the email on a colleagues machine or for technical reasons appear to delete unread. If that is you do please let Mr Mustard know that you at least read his emails even if you then forget all about them (if you like living dangerously as an email might come back to bite you).

Now Mr Mustard was wondering what support there was for his view that every councillor in every ward should listen to any resident from any ward and then today, whilst thinking about members' allowances he stumbled over the answer in the following report from London Councils from which ruling councillors, with the notable and honourable exception of the Salingers (look, they had tea with Uncle Eric afterwards) were happy to take advice to increase members' allowances.  

Mr Mustard though is more interested in the page giving the job profile of a councillor (some of Barnet's didn't read past the juicy allowances up to page 11)

London Councils Remuneration Report for Councillors

Let Mr Mustard repeat the key paragraph:

To contribute constructively to open government and democratic renewal through active encouragement of the community to participate generally in the government of the area.

Mr Mustard thinks that means that you cannot barricade yourself in your ward, stick your fingers in your ears going "la la la I can't hear you" and refuse to communicate with anyone from the borough of Barnet who is not in your ward.

Hello Mrs Angry. This other section will please you, sort of. It is from page 2 so councillors have surely read it?

A number of authorities have set up appraisal systems for councillors. We commend this initiative and believe that it should be widely adopted.

Widely would include Barnet one supposes. The sooner the council start doing appraisals of councillors the sooner they won't need to be richly appraised by you; do you think they secretly enjoy the fame of appearing in your blog?

Mr Mustard asks very little of councillors; really only that they do the jobs they are paid for.

Now a challenge. This invitation is open to any councillor to write a blog post about One Barnet, as short or as long as you like which Mr Mustard will publish in full, without changes and without sticking his comments in red all the way through. The purpose is to start a much needed debate with the residents of Barnet. Don't all rush at once.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.