It's been called many things, Future Shape, EasyCouncil, OneBarnet. Millions of pounds has been spent drawing up reports. Barnet Council has commissioned Grant Thornton to do a review of the Governance arrangements. This is being reviewed by the Barnet Council Audit committee next week. You can read the document here :-
The report is the most shocking thing yet. I have reproduced the key findings and recommendations here. This could not possibly be more damning. Read this (it's an extract)
In other words, they don't know what they are doing. Lynne Hillan is one of the chief architects of this program. She should be sacked for sanctioning the spending of so much cash whithout developing a business case or identifying the objectives and benefits. Mike Freer MP, the previous council leader, should be surcharged for all of the millions wasted. The very first thing you develop when implementing any project in anything is a business case and a cost benefits analysis.
Jack Cohen, in his blog discussed how the scrutiny committee sent back a proposal to spend even more money on the project. Jack talks about blue papers giving the amount, which he's not allowed to disclose. Jack may not be, but I can. It's approx £2.5 Million (and before you ask it wasn't Jack who told me). This is for further work on a project with no business plan and no cost justification.
The only conclusion for any sane individual is that Barnet Council really do not know what they are doing. The whole fiasco is a money pit (for your taxes and mine). They are planning to flog libraries and shut childrens centres to pay for it.
Much as I may deride our Conservative Councillors, some of them are intelligent people. I urge them to read this report and then reconsider the results of their leadership vote. This report has been commissioned by them. It details all of the catastrophic failings of the whole project. It is couched in nice words and a few bits have been chucked in to give the council a fig leaf.
The bottom line on the report is that it spells out the fact that Barnet Council are not capable of running a whelk stall, let alone a local authority. No one can possibly offer any excuse for spending millions of pounds without developing a sound business case for it. That is exactly what Mike Freer, Lynne Hillan and the team have done with our money. This is a massive scandal