I thought I'd see what the Leader of Barnet Council, Mike Freer has to say on his Leader Listens blog. I had a very nice day off. I had to look after all the kids as when I woke up all Barnet's schools were shut. I enjoyed towing my little boy on a sledge from my house all of the way to Flower Lane Park. Past all of the uncleared and ungritted roads. Later on we had a rather tasty lunch in Leyla's Turkish restaurant on Mill Hill Broadway. Unfortunately some of the teenagers were clearly in rather too high spirits, as there was a little bit of trouble, bins being thrown at cars. We initially wanted to have lunch at Pizza Express, but there was a sign up saying "Sorry we're shut, staff couldn't get in due to ungritted roads". The owner of Leyla's turned up half way through our lunch. He was fuming "4 Hours to drive from Barnet. Don't they grit the roads" he exclaimed. Shops such as W H Smiths were also shut. We just got a message to say my mother in law's urgent appointment at the hospital for tomorrow has been cancelled and the kids are off again.
Anyway, as I said, I thought I'd see Mike Freer's take on the day. The title of todays blog entry? "Business as usual despite heaviest snowfall in a generation". If you don't believe me click here to see for yourself - http://leaderlistens.com/2009/02/02/business-as-usual-despite-heaviest-snowfall-for-a-generation/
What can I say? If Mike Freer thinks this is business as usual, god help us all. I can understand a Council Leader wishing to put a positive slant on a major event, but to say it was business as usual in Barnet? Unless he's on holiday in Bermuda and a council lackey told him a few porkies, then I'm sorry to say he's completely lost the plot. Nice as it is to have a day off with the children, business was anything but usual in Barnet. You know that, I know that, everyone in Barnet knows that - apart from Mike Freer, who is supposed to be in charge of the Council.
P.S Mike, if you really think it's business as usual here, please send me a cheque for all my lost income today.
Just screenscraped this from the Barnet Council website - info concerning Council Services on this "Mike Freer business as usual" day !!!!
Click on Link for the page - http://www.barnet.gov.uk/highlights/adverse-weather-services.htm
Update Monday 2 February, 4:25pm
Church Farm Swimming Pool is now open and has resumed normal programme.
All other centres run by GLL will closed at 7.30pm this evening. Queen Elizabeth Leisure Centre has been closed by the school and will not open at all. Compton Leisure Centre will remain closed all evening, as the outdoor pitch is unoperational.
Update Monday 2 February 4.15pm
List of schools that are confirmed as closed tomorrow Tuesday 3 February.
Update Monday 2 February 12.24 pm
Housing Benefit and Council Tax
Telephone lines are closed today.
All vehicles and available staff will be directed to grit roads and keep footpaths clear:
* no refuse collection
* no school transport today (2 February 2009) and tomorrow (3 February 2009).
The main priority at present is to keep the main arterial routes flowing. Side roads will be tackled as soon as practicably possible.
Restrictions across the borough remain in force.
Most schools across Barnet are closed.
* A skeleton staff from the council’s housing team is operating from Barnet House.
* Homeless services are operating on an out-of-hours basis, Tel: 020 8359 2000.
Members of staff from the environmental health team are in the office and will be answering calls.
* The council’s switchboard, CCTV and Priority Intervention Teams are in operation as essential services.
* Callers to the switchboard may experience delays due to the volume of calls and staffing levels.
* Emergency planning team are in as an essential service
Staff from Children’s Service are maintaining skeleton services and are contactable by telephone. If you know the telephone number of your social worker please call them directly as office phones have been diverted to mobiles. An emergency cover service is available and if you need to speak to someone please Tel: 020 8359 4066.
If your emergency is outside office hours please call 020 8359 2000.
Adult Social Services
As only essential journeys can be made support is being targeted to those most vulnerable i.e. those living on their own with personal care needs without any other form of support. In the case of an emergency situation, we are providing a social work duty service where you can speak to a social worker if you have been advised that essential services for you cannot be provided because of the weather.
The duty teams can be contacted on the following numbers:
* Older people, Tel: 020 8359 2440
* Physical and sensory impairment, Tel: 020 8359 4652
* Learning disability, Tel: 020 8492 5473
In order to ensure that these essential services are provided, we will be closing the following day services tomorrow (The Space, Flower Lane, Rosa Morison, Flightways). We will keep the website regularly updated and we hope that normal service provision will be resumed from Wednesday, 4 February. In the meantime, we would urge everyone who has a vulnerable family member or neighbour to make contact and ensure that they are well.
Meals should get to everyone who is very vulnerable today. Providers are contacting anyone else to whom they cannot get meals to discuss the situation.
The Registrars office is closed. An emergency service for death registrations only will be provided and is accessible by calling 0208 359 2000.
Barnet Homes have messages regarding their services.
There are no scheduled meetings on 2 February 2009, but it is the intention that the Hendon, Finchley and Golders Green and Chipping Barnet Area Planning Sub-Committee meetings scheduled for 3 February 2009 will proceed as normal.