Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The 12th December - A date for Councillor Richard Cornelius to fear?

Ronnie & Reggie
On the 12th June I wrote this blog - - It was my congratulations to the new Leader of Barnet Council on his election. I said the following "In six months time, we'll see the true nature of the changes.".  I made a commitment to give the new leader time and space to formulate his policies and implement the changes needed to steady the holed below the waterline Barnet Council ship. I made a commitment to wait and see and allow Councillor Richard Cornelius 6 months to try and turn things around. I was assured by his friends that we'd see a more sensible and more pragmatic type of regime. One which would reach out to the people that the previous two leaders had completely ignored.

I was told that Richard Cornelius was a man who had a solid business background and was someone who would not be taken in by the armies of consultants, who produce endless reports for inflated fees, most of which will never be read. I was told that Richard Cornelius was a man who would have sensible dialog with Barnet trades Unions and try and find common ground, for the good of the Barnet taxpayer and resident. I was told that Richard Cornelius was horrified by the Metpro Scandal and would work tirelessly to ensure that no such scandal was ever allowed to develop in Barnet again. I was told that Richard Cornelius was a man of good manners and impeccable behaviour, who would not tolerate the sort of boorish behaviour towards residents, with which Councillors such as Brian Coleman had caused irrepairable damage to the reputation of the Barnet Conservatives. I was told that Richard Cornelius was a man of his word, but a quiet man. I was told that we wouldn't notice the changes in a day, a week or possibly a month or two. What I would notice is that six months down the line I'd be able to write a blog saying that the Barnet Conservatives had picked the right man for the job and the Richard Cornelius had made a change for the better in Barnet.

So I said "OK, I will refrain from criticising Councillor Cornelius, unless he makes any new mistakes all of his own". I gave my word that I'd give him six months to prove himself.  The only criticism of the Leader has been for any howlers he's made which are totally unrelated to the old regime and these crriticisms are mild compared to many of his colleagues who have also featured, here is an example - -  Many Barnet residents have queried why the criticism has been so muted? The answer is simple. I said six months and I meant it. That period is up on the 12th December. This blog will mark that date with an end of term report for Councillor Cornelius. We will assess whether he has fulfilled the promises made and the commitments given. We will answer the question "What sort of regime is Councillor Richard Cornelius  presiding over" and "Is he the man the residents of Barnet deserve?".

The other Barnet blogs will no doubt also be marking the occasion with their critiques of his performance.I am sure some may jump the gun, but the Barnet Eye is planning to make sure that we mark the anniversary with a big splash.  As regular readers of this blog will know, they can email me any information relating to Barnet Council and Councillor Richard Cornelius they like. If they are employees of Barnet Council, I'd urge them to email from home or even better drop photocopies of documents off. I've been informed of the fact that Barnet are a "little jumpy" right now, having their most secret meetings about Future Shape / OneBarnet  at top legal firms in the City   (I wonder if Barnet Council Execs have ever wondered if any highly paid lawyers are also secret Trots ? ). I'd love to tell more but that would give the game away completely.

Anyway, we are currently building up our stack of documents for the "Richard Cornelius Six Month Anniversary Special" blog on the 12th December,  so if you have an amusing anecdote about the dawn of the Cornelius era, please get in touch. The Barnet Eye is planning  a "One Barnet Richard Cornelius Xmas party". We can all have a glass of sherry, free Richard Cornelius masks will be provided, we'll outsource all of the catering. We're going to have exciting party games like doing a 180 degree turn whilst completely blindfolded, Walking backwards whilst pretending to walk forwards and best of all a game of Blind Brians Buffet, which has huge cash prizes (well a fiver). This is a game where contestants are blindfolded and have to find the buffet and eat  as much as possible in 30 seconds. They are guided by a "Consultant" who keeps all the prize money and tells them what to do. Just to make it interesting there will be 10 dishes, five of which are delicious yummy food of a standard which even the great Brian Coleman would approve of, as supplied by Barnet Councils fantastic in house buffet catering team  and five dishes which are of the standard provided to the local poor and vulnerable people who use Barnet Council's outsourced meals on wheels service.

Now until the 12th December will continue it's be nice to Richard campaign. What will happen on the 12th? Well if we find that he's lived up to the commitments we believe he gave (or has even tried to), we'll give him another six months. If he doesn't? Maybe he could have a chat with Brian Coleman and Councillor Robert Rams and asks what happens when the Barnet Eye decides you've let the people of Barnet down.

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