I am immensely proud of the professionalism with which staff in this authority carry out their work and provide support and services to our residents. Maintaining that professionalism requires a commitment from us all to behave in a way which respects colleagues’ work.
Earlier this week, a copy of a council document relating to a One Barnet project was published on a blog. It was a fairly unexciting document showing officers getting on and doing their job. But I am deeply upset about this leak - not because of its content, or its impact in the wider world. But by what it says about the attitude of at least one member of staff to their colleagues and employer. Leaking a document suggests to me that at least one employee thinks that trying to undermine the work of colleagues will shift how the council deals with challenges we need to confront if we are to continue to provide good services at a time of extreme financial stringency. Instead it simply illustrates a lack of professionalism which undermines us all.
That lack of professionalism contrasted strongly with a group I encountered having an end of season beer whilst I was on holiday. They regularly give long hours at high personal risk for little or no financial reward and were being rightly thanked by their community for their work and their contribution to local life. Of course the lifeboat men of St Ives are all volunteers but no one doubts their professionalism, or the valuable role they play. At the time that got me thinking about the balance between what the Council does and what the Community do - a One Barnet theme. I hadn’t expected it would also cause me to reflect on the professionalism (or lack of it) of some of our own staff.
I know that the vast majority of staff show their commitment to our standards and values on a daily basis and I trust everyone will take pause to think carefully about the impact that they have on their colleagues as well as the Council as a whole in the difficult times ahead.
I have this response to Nick. Barnet Council workers are working for the people of Barnet, we pay their wages, you don't. We are the bosses, we'll be here long after you have gone to your next assignment. You are merely the custodian for the tenure of your reign. Council workers recognise this. It is clear that the Council is suppressing information and it would be unprofessional of staff to let this happen. You talk about the RNLI lifeboat men and there professionalism. Would they abandon drowning people if the boss told them to? Of course not. That is why staff oppose the warden cuts and the privatisation. Do you suppose the RNLI men would sit idly by if the boss decided to outsource the rescue service to Green Flag because it was cheaper and only 10% of rescues would be affected.
People leak info because they care. I don't pay a penny for info. I don't get paid to blog. You get £250,000 a year to do your job. I pay your wages. Open administration is honest administration. That is professional. Sadly you don't seem to understand this