13 August 2012

No sweeteners at Cafe Buzz today

This chart would not find favour with Cllr Cornelius - too complex

Mr Mustard thinks that our "leader" Richard Cornelius is a fundamentally decent human being, always scrupulously polite, but not leadership material and that he shies away from the difficult decisions as he doesn't like conflict. Mr Mustard often sends advice to Cllr Cornelius and so do a large number of other people. He will want to keep everyone happy and therein lies the problem. Perhaps he lays awake at night worrying about all the advice, suggestions and criticism he receives trying to find a way to square the circle and keep everyone happy.

Mr Mustard thinks that Cornelius will get up one morning and simply decide that he wants to pop into Cafe Buzz whilst he is passing and be welcomed rather than reviled and thus he will have to step down as leader; if you could just reverse the 2010 parking charge increases before you do so though please Mr Cornelius. 

Here is what Helen Michael of Cafe Buzz has sent him today:
Dear Mr Cornelius,
I have read your interviews with Daniel OBrien in The Press and Nathalie ONeill in the Times with interest
I feel that some of your comments are directed at me and that I have been publicly criticized.  I should like the opportunity to respond.
I wish to make it clear that I was nominated as the spokesperson for the traders of North Finchley.  As a woman trying to run a small business in these difficult times - difficulties compounded by your parking policy - I have my hands full trying to make a living and I could do without this distraction.
This was not a role that I sought. I am not a natural activist I just want to do something; before this parking fiasco I was not known to the Council.
After initially trying to reason with Barnet Council about the parking issue only to find that I was treated with disdain and ignored, I organized a petition and collected in excess of 13000 signatures.  I speak on behalf of all those people who went out of their way to sign the petition in direct opposition to your parking policies.  I also speak on behalf of all those traders who displayed anti parking increase posters throughout the borough.
I and the other traders feel that we are having our intelligence insulted by empty promises made by you. 
We met in Café Buzz in March for breakfast. You agreed that something had to be done about the parking issue quickly and you made it clear that the meters were not coming back.  We made a concession in relation to scratch cards on the basis that they would be introduced quickly. 
You assured us that they were being organized and would be available shortly. Well, we are now middle of August and still waiting. I and the other traders are driven to the conclusion that we are being led up the garden path.  
 As for your comments that we are a vocal minority, I find this deeply offensive. You have been invited on many occasions to walk the length of the High Road and speak to every trader, independent and multiple alike. If you had taken the trouble to do so you would have found that far from being in a minority, there is 100% view that your parking policies are having a disastrous effect on the High Road. 
You seem conveniently to have forgotten that in excess of 100 local businesses from around the borough attended a business forum meeting in January, at the Arts Depot (where you promised scratch cards).  Not one of the businesses had anything positive to say about your parking policies.  In fact some were incredulous and quite angry at your apparent indifference.  This was an opportunity for you to hear what the shopkeepers actually wanted, but you said, as you have on a number of occasions, that there was nothing you could or would do. On this, at least, you have been consistent.
You have said many times that I have led a very effective campaign and that it is this campaign that is keeping people away.  Well let me tell you that it is YOUR councils policies that are responsible for keeping people away.  My campaign has merely been effective in raising the profile of this insensitive, undemocratic and arrogant council.
You refuse to take responsibility for the grave error of judgment which has resulted in numerous businesses going to the wall. Was nothing learnt from Councillor Colemans trouncing in the GLA where the electorate spoke loud and clear of its view on your parking policies?
The announcement of the paltry adjustment to the charges in the Lodge Lane car park does not begin to rectify the situation. It has been perceived for what it is a sop.
I and my fellow traders are bemused by what is driving this insane parking policy. It is quite clear that not only has it been a complete failure in its objective to raise revenue, it has had the opposite effect. This is in addition to the devastating consequences for local traders. In case it has escaped your notice, every business that closes down represents a further loss to the local economy - and to council funds.
I have to remind myself that you are a Conservative councillor. Traditionally the Conservatives have always championed the cause of small businesses. I believe that this is still the policy at Central Office.    
I for one am aghast at the arrogance and ineptitude of a council that purports to act in the name of small businesses.  I know that your policies have driven away many core Tory voters.

Helen Michael

That is another weight loaded onto the Cornelius shoulders. How much more can they take? The sooner he resigns as leader the better for Barnet.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. hear hear ... but pull the plug on One Barnet before you go, eh, Richard, if you really want to sleep at night.


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