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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Barnet Council : Just how useless are the Councillors of Barnet

Just how useless are our elected representatives in Barnet. There are 63 of them. Today the bloggers of Barnet have done two things. We emailed every single one of them a questionaire asking some questions about their attitude to Metpro & the issues raised (see previous blog). We will publish the results when they are collated.

The other thing that happened is two of our top bloggers  Mr Reasonable and Mrs Angry met the District Auditor. Mrs Angry writes it up here in her own inimitable style. This meeting shouldn't be necessary. The 63 councillors in Barnet get paid a nice allowance to do all of this. They also have access to training and council resources. Why is it NECESSARY for bloggers to muscle in? Because the Metpro Scandal has shown just how lazy some of them are. Reports have not been read, meetings have been skipped, questions haven't been asked.

I feel short changed. The allowances for Councillors costs the taxpayer a million£ a year. Would it make any difference if we sacked half of them? The system of allowances was brought in because it was claimed that people wouldn't do it for free. This is bollocks. How much do bloggers get paid? We do it because we care. There are thousands of unpaid people in Barnet doing great work for all manner of organisations. The cash has just attracted deadbeats who are more interested in lining their pockets. I don't believe all Councillors are deadbeats, but there are far too many who are. There are too many who have cabinet posts who are there simply because they were bought. That is how the cabinet system works in local government.

This blog will be the 1,974th I've written since October 2008 when the Barnet Eye started. There has been a huge change since them. At the time I was getting 200 hits a week. Now I get 1,000 or so a day. The powers that be ignored, mocked and insulted myself and David Miller (Don't call me Dave). The Leader of Barnet Council, now MP for Finchley, Mike Freer MP called us "wankers" in a podcast in his official role as leader of the Council. Gradually other bloggers have joined in. We are recognised by National press and members of the Government. We get invited to North London Business Park to quiz the district auditor.

How has this recognition come about? Because the Bloggers of Barnet have worked ourselves nearly to death to try and make a difference. What sickens me is that if any of our paid representatives tried half as hard to make Barnet a great council, we'd have the best council in the country. Let me tell you about what I do. I run two businesses on IT, one Music. I employ nine people. I work 65 hours a week. In between I write blogs, I organise music festivals, I play in a punk rock band, I run around after my kids (one is a national swimming champion and the other a member of a successful football team and gaelic football team, the third is a talented artist), I'm on the pastoral Council for my local church, with a brief of setting up youth projects and activities and as chair of a fundraising committee for a building project. I'm a trustee of a charity which runs healthcare projects in Sri Lanka. Apart from the businesses, it's all voluntary. I'm not sharing this with you because I want you to think I'm marvellous, I'm really not, I do it with the support of friends and family. I'm telling you this so that if any councillor ever tells you that they are too busy to read reports, attend meetings, reply to email, you can tell them that they are talking bullshit. I know this for a fact. Believe me, I've spent the last 3 years studying them, in my precious spare time.

My job as a Barnet blogger will be done, when the Councillors of Barnet start doing their job properly.

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