On this blog we praise anyone we see doing the right thing and kick anyone in the goolies who we see doing bad things. Isn't that the way it should be? What do I think Councillors should make their no 1 priority? Cutting Taxes, making YouTube video's, attending conferences in the USA, reopening dangerous country lanes to speeding traffic, buying TV's for officers to put on their desks, spending £650,000 on consultants to write blue sky discussion documents about future shape? I suspect you've guessed, I don't think any of those things are a priority. I think that a Councillors No 1 priority should be to protect the most vulnerable members of society. Those that for whatever reason can't look after themselves. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, will be aware that I've praised Councillor John Hart for intervening with Barnet Council when my now dearly departed mum was having problems with Barnet Council providing her meals on wheels service. When the council outsourced this service many old and vulnerable people suffered immense hardship and hunger as meals didn't arrive. Councillor Hart, being rather more sensible than some of his colleagues, stepped in to help.
It now seems that Barnet Council are yet again putting the boot into the vulnerable and elderly people in Barnet. Councillor Duncan MacDonald (Lib Dem) is leading a campaign against this atrocious policy - http://cllrdmacdonald.blogspot.com/. In short, the Barnet Tory beancounters have realised that it costs more to keep people in sheltered accomodation than a normal property. Their solution, cut the budget for sheltered accomodation by 75%. It seems that a bit of research has shown that Barnet are not unique in trying to cut the budget here - http://www.shelteredhousinguk.com/.
I've known several family and friends who's elderly relatives ended their lives in sheltered accomodation. A warden system allows an elderly person to have both independance and safety. I'd be the first to agree that some budgets in Barnet should be slashed to save money (conferences, tellies, YouTube video's, etc) but I'd fight to my last breath to protect vulnerable and eldelry people to live in dignity.
I trust you feel the same. Well done Councillor MacDonald for raising this matter.