18 June 2014

The winds of change?

This could have prevented the current constitutional chaos
Last week Mrs Angry, Mr Reasonable and Mr Mustard submitted 17 questions between them to the Performance and Contract Management Committee. Mrs Angry and Mr Mustard were desperate for a sherbert by 10pm, the time by which a 7pm meeting usually has to end. We bloggers had used up our allotted time for public supplementary questions of 30 minutes (you too can ask questions, you don't have to write a blog, although the more the merrier). Far too many of the management earn in the £100,000 to £200,000 range and with a total bill for management in the Commissioning Council of £6,670,000 we still don't have anybody with the gumption to correctly allocate committee representation by party in proportion to the number of seats won at the 22 May 14 elections. This has made the decisions of the committee unsafe and we are going to have to do it all over again. Mr Reasonable luckily had to be elsewhere so 3 hours of his life weren't wasted.

The one piece of possible good news at the meeting was that in response to one of his questions the parking manager told the committee, and thus Mr Mustard who was seated right next to him at the committee table, that an extra employee was being taken on in the thin client Parking side of Barnet Council, increasing it from 5 to 6 people at an annual cost, including on-cost, of £45,000 which does of course wipe out 7.5% of the supposed annual contract savings. Mr Mustard has always said that the thin client isn't fat enough to properly manage the contract and here is some proof of that.

The extra person is going to review representations made against parking tickets and get involved with PATAS evidence packs. Let's hope that someone empathetic with common sense is appointed and then we won't keep seeing cases like this one in front of the independent adjudicator at PATAS.

The Appellant attended the hearing in person. The Authority was not represented.

The Appellant was taking his adult son to a care centre. He parked on a yellow line. He says, and I accept, that he displayed his blue badge but his son must have knocked it off the dashboard.

The Appellant's son has mental health learning issues and he is autistic. The Appellant takes him to a care centre regularly. The Appellant is not in good health himself. He is 75 and has a heart condition. He says that his son has to be escorted into the care centre. On this occasion, the Appellant also had to explain to the staff that his son was in a very agitated state.

I accept under the circumstances that the alighting exception applied. I am allowing the appeal.

Wasn't the citizen meant to be at the centre of everything the council does? Currently a cash till is.

Isn't it amazing that none of the management has the decency, having right royally cocked up a fundamental matter, to resign?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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