Barnet Council are debating their corporate parenting strategy at the Council meeting on Tuesday. This document describes how the council will intervene in the lives of people who for whatever reason. Click on this link and select the report 5.1.1 -
This document was up for discussion at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. I was interested to see what the cabinet had to say about such an important document. What questions were asked? Absolutely none. The whole of the cabinet just stared vacuously into space. What is the purpose of this strategy? If you read section 3.1 you will see this :-
So there you go. The overriding priority of this paper is to spend less money on young people in care. In short, this is short term penny pinching. Just in case you weren't quite sure
You might wonder what motivates me to write blogs at such a rate? It is my anger that these people are so self serving when so much needs to be done. Don't get me wrong. I'm no saint. I'm pretty well off, I am a lazy, self indulgent, greedy and arrogant punk rock guitarist. My one redeeming feature is I have a little compassion for people less well off and there are plenty of those in Barnet.
Which brings us back to the Barnet Council Corporate parenting strategy. What sort of person considers themselves fit to be a corporate parent? Let us consider what Barnet Council are doing with it's assets? They are flogging them off like there is no tomorrow. They are using the financial management methods of Crackheads to address their financial ineptitude. The bonkers schemes are coming thick and fast, the latest one being the plan to flog off Burnt Oak Market. What about how they look after those they have a duty of care to? The Sheltered housing tenants? The council has spent tens of thousands of pounds on failed legal challenges, trying to cut them loose. A delegation of Councillors were recently told the following on a visit to a sheltered housing location (this is from a paper on the council website where they are trying to reintroduce the cuts, strangely the term Sheltered Housing or cuts isn't in the title - http://committeepapers.barnet.gov.uk/democracy/reports/reportdetail.asp?ReportID=9576).
So there you have it. They've admitted that they didn't even bother talking to residents. What about residents of Barnet Homes, their ALMO to manage housing stock - they've been cut loose by the privatisation of maintenance to Connaught PLC, who have gone bust. What about the staff who used to be employed by the council and who transferred to Connaught PLC - summiraly sacked by conference call on Thursday. Whilst some councils have re-employed them and are taking the function in house, Barnet will not, for purely ideological reasons. Tenants stuffed, employees stuffed - by their corporate parents.
When it comes down to I don't believe that Barnet Council are fit to be "Corporate Parents". If I was asked to describe their behaviour, I'd call them "Corporate Crackheads". Maybe we should bring in compulsory drug testing to see if there is more to their profligate behaviour than meets the eye? I wouldn't trust Lynne Hillan to run a whelk stall, let alone be the corporate mum to the disadvanteged of Barnet. Maybe Lynne would care to tell us why she thinks she's so well qualified to be the "corporate mother of Barnet"? Maybe her kids could write a guest blog for the Barnet Eye - "My mum would be a great corporate mum because.....". When it comes down to it, being a corporate parent, means taking responsibility for those who you have a duty of care to look after. Would she treat her biological mother, like the elderly in Sheltered Housing? We all know she moved her to a home where the warden was being retained before the cuts were announced.
I have this advice to anyone who has an issue with people for whom Barnet Council have a duty of care. Write to Lynne Hillan and ask this. "You are their corporate Mother. Would you allow your biological children/parents/grandparents to be treated in this manner". Simple Question - Simple answer really