Thursday, 29 December 2011

OneBarnet and the shafting of UNISON

So once all Barnet Council's employees are scattered far and wide and NLBP has become a TESCO's, what future is there for UNISON, the public sector workers union? Well (according to reliable sources) this can be summed up by a throwaway comment from Brian Coleman. "If the private sector want to fund the union and give them a free office, it's up to them". Coleman and co are persuing the OneBarnet agenda, because they believe that Unions should have no place in the workplace. Like many on the right, they believe "the market" should set the rates of pay. What they don't understand, because they've never worked in the public sector, is that good pay and conditions attract higher calibre staff who stay in post longer. Many of the most successful companies (BMW, Mercedes, etc) in Europe have workers representatives on the board. They recognise that a content workforce delivers quality. What Coleman and co don't appreciate is that if your aged mother has dementia and needs a care team, she needs continuity and caring staff. If they continually change and don't care about her, she will suffer.

British Rail was broken up for precisely this reason. Michael Portillo, then transport minister believed that by fragmenting the system, the Unions would not be able to shut down the country. So now we have a whole bevvy of private companies. Prices have gone through the roof. Whilst we have less strikes, anyone who uses First Capital Connect in Barnet will realise that this has been replaced by management failure. When it is your nearest and dearest who are left in their own shit for hours, because their carer on minimum wage, working for carers are us, who don't care, then you'll wish that UNISON was still around to make sure that those workers had been looked after.

It will be far too late.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Happy New Year to Leader of Barnet Council, Richard Cornelius

I had intended to mark the 12th December with a special post to commemorate the end of the first six months of Richard Cornelius being leader of Barnet Council. Sadly I was so tied up blogging about other issues, that I completely missed the (non) event. When Richard took over the helm, I said I'd give him six months to prove his mettle, before I passed judgement.

For those of you who don't know Richard, let me tell you a little bit about him. Unlike many other Barnet Councillors, he has a real job running a jewellers. He is polite to a t and is a very nice person. When I saw him at a recent council meeting, even though I'd written a none to complimentary blog about him the day before, he took the time to enquire about my health. Whilst I'm quite comfortable having a go at the likes of Brian Coleman, who is arrogant and rude to excess, I have to confess that I don't really enjoy writing bad things about people if they are not horrible.

So lets start off and look at some of the good things Richard Cornelius has done. He has reintroduced the business breakfasts, where local business people get to meet the leader of the council and exchange ideas. This was one of the few initiatives that Mike Freer introduced that I thought was a good idea. He has attended various forums and listened to the people have their say about the parking changes. I doubt that it was a comfortable experience for him, but at least he bothered to go. His regime also seems to be improving the way it handles FOI requests recently. Under Lynne Hillans regime, this became a bit of a joke. Many of the worst things we've seen date back to her regime.

Then lets have a look at the negative column. OneBarnet rumbles on, gobbling up ever more cash and still delivering nothing except fear for the staff and work for the lawyers. The outsourcing of the parking contract will take jobs away from Barnet and to Croydon. Many local people (mostly women) will be out of a job and on the dole. This is scandalous. Bloggers continue to dig up scandals related to Metpro and RM Countryside. Brian Coleman is no less rude to people, despite countless standards complaints. He even upset his own colleagues, who asked Richard to "take action" (something avid readers of this blog will have seen a video clip of). Then we have Colemans masterpiece. The Pay and Display parking cock up. This has alienated business and residents all over Barnet. Bringing it in just before Xmas was a cruel trick in a recession. Local shops trade has nosedived. Even worse, Brent Cross, who's CEO Tom Nathan is also a Non Executive Director in Barnet, have taken advantage by plastering billboards with a huge poster saying "Free parking at Brent Cross". As Richard owns a small business, I really thought he'd have had a little more sense than to do this. We also had the reaction of the Council to a one day strike by workers. This was mean spirited and the huge billboards put up at NLBP were tantamount to bullying. For the life of me, I don't know why they bothered. A simple email outlining their case (assuming they had one) would surely have been easier, cheaper and more effective.

I have one little piece of advice for Richard. leadership involves leading. It involves being seen to be the person to make tough decisions. A good leader inspires the people who look to him for direction. I suspect that Richard is just a little to polite and easy going for some of his colleagues to take him 100% seriously (more of that next year). I would suggest that there are a few changes he could make which would establish his authority. The first would be to give Brian Coleman more time to concentrate on his GLA campaign, by removing him from the cabinet. This would be universally popular in Barnet (well nearly universally, Brians dear old mum would probably be upset). The next thing would be to stop chucking money at the disasterous "OneBarnet" scheme.

In Richards first six months, he can quite honestly claim that he was cleaning up the mess left by Lynne Hillan. From here on in, its down to him and the excuses won't wash anymore.

Rog T's Cancer blog - The Darkest place

For those of you who are regular readers and have read the previous posts, you can skip this first paragraph.This is the latest installment in my occasional series about how I'm adjusting to living with a big C in my life.  For those of you who aren't, here's a quick summary. I'm 49 years old and I recently had a prostate biopsy following two "slightly high" PSA tests - 2.8 & 4.1. The biopsy took ten tissue samples and one of these showed a "low grade cancer" which gives me a 3+3 on the Gleason scale. I'm now on a program of active monitoring. I've no symptoms and sadly for a few people, if I'm gonna die soon, it won't be from Prostate cancer. Got the picture?

Please don't read this post if you are looking for solace or inspiration, jaunty witty comments of something to cheer you up. This is going to be a bit grim. First the good news. I have no physical problems as a result of my little friend, as I lovingly call my tumour, so don't worry.

Pomegranite - reduces prostate cancer growth
What about the psychological side? Nope, I'm not alright at all. Last night I embarked on a mission to drink as much beer as possible in the shortest space of time I could. I really wanted to sit on my own somewhere and drink. Sadly for me, I met some friends and we had a bit of a laugh. Now in normal circumstances, that would be great wouldn't it? The thing is that right now all I really want to do is scream. If you met me, you wouldn't notice any difference. I look the same, I react the same, but it's all a show. I have been feeling progressively more angry since the start of the Xmas holiday. On Xmas eve, I spoke to a dear friend who also has cancer, is 4 years younger than me, is on morphine and can't eat at the moment. I have spent the last month reading everything I can, educating myself on how to make my chances better. Yet however well or badly I do, I can seemingly do nothing for my friend.

I see a shadow in the mirror and it's looking back at me. I have been studying my shadow a lot recently. I read a lot of military history and some years ago I read of a daring world war II mission by the US army air force, where they shot down a plane with Admiral Yamamoto on it, after breaking the japanese cypher codes. One of the Japanese naval ratings interviewed said they knew Yamamoto was going to die, because as he stepped on the plane, he had a "pale shadow". Every time I see my shadow, I check to make sure that it's not too pale. I am scared to see my friend in sunlight, lest his shadow is pale. Does this make sense? I'm sure it probably doesn't. The silly thing is that it's not my shadow that is the problem, it is the large shadow of the letter "C" in my life.

At Christmas it seems that we miss those people who have departed more acutely. It brings it home to us as we reminisce about loved ones and friends who are no longer here. What about those of us who may be making our way to the departure lounge. Now I'm clearly not, but I cannot get out of my mind bad thoughts about my friends predicament. I can't get over the arbitary nature of all this. If a gunman stood at the top of centre point tower and took potshots at people buying things at the January sales, they'd be rightly reviled as madman and a psychopath. How many people could they bump off, before the crowds scattered and the police took them down? 20? 30? 50? Each one with a backstory, each one cut down in their prime. Their face would be on the front of the Sun Newspaper as the face of evil - rightly so. The sad thing is that number would not even be a drop in the ocean of the number of people who die because of cancer. That is without the collateral damage of those injured and disfigured. Then there is the psychological torture of the families, watching loved ones being eaten alive by their own body. I happen to believe that much of this damage is avoidable.

Pesticide residue increase cancer risk
The research I've read couldn't indicate any more strongly that pesticides, plastic residue, Omega 6 fats, salt and a sedentary lifestyle all are contributing to the epidemic. Then there is smoking. Yet we have a government that does absolutely fuck all about it. Why? because they are in the pay of the corporations who are doing very nicely thank you.

The sad thing is that the corporations themselves are staffed by people, many of whom will themselves get cancer and die. How on earth have we got ourselves into a position where things that are clearly bad for us are allowed to be such an integral part of our every day life. These corporations cause a million times the misery of the lone nutcase gunman.

I am starting to drive my wife crazy by checking every label before we buy the product. Yesterday we went to Morrisons for the weekly shop. The only red wine vinegar they had was one which contained "Sulphites". What happened next? Well I drove us all the way to waitrose to buy one which was sulphite free. It costs more money but hey, I'm worth it. The thing is there is absolutely no incentive to eat organic food free of pesticide residue (apart from the fact eating it may make you live healthier and longer). The government gives no incentive at all to food manufacturers to produce healthy food.

We have warnings on packets of cigarettes that the product is carcinogenic, why not on food? The corporations claim that there is "not enough evidence" to support accurate labelling.  This is complete crap. There is a boom in the rate of certain types of cancers in western europe. These started to increase as pesticides and unhealthy food additives started appearing in the daily diet. The madman who shoots innocent strangers is rightly vilified, but what about the directors and shareholders of companies which cause untold grief. All of these companies have teams of lawyers, scientists and lobbiest all working to ensure they can carry on making a fortune from poisoning us.

Yesterday, I finished reading a book, written by a doctor detailing an anti cancer lifestyle. Maybe I shouldn't have read it over the christmas period. The fact is that I did and I could no longer contain my anger at this state of ours that allows companies to keep us ignorant as they poison us. From David Cameron down, we have a useless, spineless and dishonest regime that cares nothing for our health. What is worse is that when I discuss this with friends, most of them seem to think that I'm going off on one or joke that I've been "looking at too many American new age websites". People seem totally unwilling to recognise the fact that there is hard scientific evidence, in the mainstream which proves conclusively that much of what we eat is poisoning us slowly.

We are like frogs. If you put a frog into a pan of boiling water, it jumps straight out. If you put it in a pan of cold water, and turn on the gas, it sits there quite happily until it is boiled to death. Is that what we want? I've known quite a few people who have died of cancer. They have all asked the question "Why me?" The sad truth is that the answer for many was "because nobody told you that your lifestyle was making your body a place where a cancer can thrive".

Perhaps the final straw was listening to the Jeni Barnett Show on BBC 94.9. She was discussing "Bucket Lists". These are a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. I don't know if it's her smug manner or the fact that she was laughing and joking about it when discussing what you would do if you were given a week to live. I felt like ringing her up and saying that if I was given a week to live, the only thing I'd want to do is live two weeks or two months or two years and stick it to the people who do nothing to educate us to avoid the situation completely.

And last night, I'd reached the point where all of these things really started to get to me. So what did I do? I went to the pub, drank a skinfull and smoked half a packet of cigarettes. And I sat there quietly raging about all of this as I did it, beacuse nobody wants to know, nobody wants to listen and nobody cares. Perhaps the biggest irony of the whole thing was I saw an old friend who said "You're looking really good, are you on a diet". How do you respond to that when you feel like your head is going to explode? I replied "Yeah". I'm in a pretty dark place with all this right now, if truth be told. I cannot reconcile myself to the fact that we spend billions on healthcare, yet virtually nothing on keeping people healthy. I guess if I wasn't in my predicament, I too wouldn't care. But I am....

And just in case you are worrying, nope I don't want to shoot anyone, I just want the people who run the country to do their jobs for the people, not the corporations and give us the information we need to make informed choices. Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Barnet Council Spend £1000 for a bloke in Yorkshire to write a tune for the queen

The politbureau  of Barnet bloggers contacted me and asked me to write a tune to commemorate the £1000 Barnet Council is paying a bloke in Yorkshire, who's dad happens to be a mate of Brian Coleman, to write a tune for the queens jubilee next year. Now I'd love to, but as they weren't offering to pay me £1,000 for my efforts, I pointed out that there was already a perfectly maarvellous song written which sums it up.Here's Ian Dury at his best singing about Barnet Council

Is Barnet Council run by lobotomised zombies? The Barnet Cash lottery

Picture courtesy of
"Times are hard", "We are all in it together", "They believe money grows on trees", "Labour are very good at spending other peoples money". These are all phrases that I've heard local Conservative Councillors use in relation to myself, other bloggers and the opposition. What they keep very quiet about is just how completely useless and profligate they are with your cash, if you are lucky. The Barnet Tory Councillors sometimes remind me of an army of lobotomised zombies, who are very good at responding to basic commands (such as "put your hand up now to vote for this idiotic policy") but who are seemingly incapable of actually thinking about anything they do or what effects it has on Barnet. They seem to have no problem at all holding diametrically opposed views on issues at the same time. For example overdevelopment in Cat Hill (LB Enfield) is bad. Over development in Brent Cross is good. Some may call this being two faced (as the councillors who oppose this are representing people near Cat Hill).

Let me explain what their basic mantra is. This is that if they keep council tax down, then they will get re-elected and keep their generous allowances and perks. If you are from a Conservative persuasion, you will probably say "quite right too". Then all of a sudden, you find that the methods they use, hit you in the pocket. Let me give  a couple of examples. CPZ charges have been hiked massively. Now the likes of Brian Coleman, who are responsible, don't have much CPZ in their constituency. It won't affect them, but plenty of other Tories do. These lobotomised zombies aren't prepared to even think about the effect on hard pressed families, many of whom are Tory voters. by squeezing the 10% here, they can save a wider tax rise for the rest. If you are a Tory voter in a CPZ, affected by the changes, you are the sacraficial lamb, your cash paying a subsidy for a few even more wealthy residents council tax, who don't live in CPZ's. Then there is the pay by phone parking changes. Brian Coleman beleived this would save money. Sod the OAP's and other people who can't for whatever reason use it. The guys who work for me used to drive to Mill Hill Broadway to buy lunch. A 15 minute parking charge was 30p. Now it's a pound. Thats £250 a year just to buy a sandwich. They have voted with their feet and now buy their sandwich at the garage on the A41. All the small sandwich shops lose out. The rumour on the street is that Barnet parking revenues are down by 7%. If you drive down Bunns Lane during a working day, you can tell where the parking zone ends. Cars are parked in sidestreets where they used to be parked in the statiomn car park. It seems that Colemanballs didn't realise that people would vote with their pockets.

But just as there are losers, there are winners. After the last Council Cabinet resourses meeting, I had a beer with Mr Mustard, another blogger. I asked him what he thought Barnet would try and sneak through on a DPR as the council shut for Xmas. We speculated, but we were wildly wrong. Mr Mustard, ever eagle eyed, spotted this - - Barnet Council are giving Brian Colemans favourite vicars son £1,000 to write a song for the queens jubilee. This is an outrage. Unlike my fellow bloggers, I think that money spent on the arts such as this is money well spent. Where I have an issue is the method they've chosen to allocate it. Surely they should have said "We'll have a competition locally to write a song for the jubilee and the winners will get £1,000 towards equipment for their school or college". That way everyone would have become engaged and young people would have been inspired to be creative. Such tunes are invariably unlistenable dirges, so at least give everyone a bit of fun.

Then there are the "special" companies, who operate without contracts and seemingly get all manner of highly lucrative work, much of which is unneccessary and overpriced. We've seen two examples (both exposed by bloggers). These are Metpro Security and RM Countrysides. Between these two companies, Barnet Council has spent £4 million pounds. Neither has a contract. When Metpro's contract was cancelled, it was revealed that many of the services they were providing were deemed unnecessary. Kerching, your money down the bog. I emailed all of the Barnet councillors about Metpro before XMAS. I asked for them to call an emergency council meeting to debate the latest revealations. I got 16 read receipts and not a single reply from the Conservative group. One councillor - Maureen Braun, deleted the email without reading it. One may ask what value Councillor Braun adds, if she can't even be bothered to read an email marked urgent, concerning a scandal that has cost the council £1.4 million?

I don't expect Barnet Councillors, especially Conservative ones, to agree with me about everything. I don't expect them all to reply when I send an email marked urgent, detailing a scandal that bloggers were praised by the Tory local government minister for their role in exposing. I am however amazed that not a single one got in touch to either say "Yes this is terrible we'll do something" or "No, you've got it all wrong, it's all in hand".

This leaves us with the impression that they are useless. What I can't comprehend is why, when Barnet Council must realised that the Barnet bloggers are in control of the local agenda, that they don't engage and try and build trust. I can almost see the likes of Brian Coleman sneering as they read this "in control of the agenda, ha ha ha". Any Conservative Councillor who reads the local papers, will have seen 52 weeks of negative stories this year. These have all started in the blogs of Barnet. Private Eye has yet again pilloried Barnet in its end of year awards. Local businesses and residents are reading the blogs in ever greater numbers. My blog readership has doubled this year, with well over 250,000 hits. That is more than the population of Barnet. October was the peak month this year and February was the quietest (as it has 3 less days, this is not surprising).

I don't really ask much of our controlling group of Tory councillors. If they simply did their job, for which they are paid a decent allowance, and made sure Barnet Council was properly run, that would be enough. The Barnet bloggers read the DPR's and reports. If we can why can't  they? We spotted the Metpro and RM Countrysides scandals, yet we don't get big fat allowances. We read the reports that are supposed to be discussed in committees. We turn up to meetings and they are ignored. It is clear from the few questions that ever get asked that the majority of committee members don't even bother to read them. I have come to the conclusion that many Barnet Councillors just treat the issue of being a councillor like winning a lottery. A bit of extra cash and the odd night out with their friends.

I sent a questionaire to all Barnet Councillors, asking what contribution they had made. I said for every returned copy I'd donate £5 to the mayors appeal. Two Conservative Councillors replied - Brian Salinger and Sury Khatri. All the Lib Dems did and two Labour members, Barry Rawlings and leader Alison Moore. I will be sending Councillor Rutter, the Mayor a cheque for £35. To be honest, I am rather disappointed at this response. I have to ask whether they didn't respond out of embarrassment at their lack of contribution? And I thank and commend those councillors who took the time to respond.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Homeless at Christmas in London

As I write this blog, on boxing day, having just tucked into a lovely plate of bubble and squeak, I find myself thinking of my good friend Hildegarde. She's currently finishing her shift at a Crisis Xmas shelter for homeless women. She works over the Xmas period every year. Inspired by her example, I decided to try and do my bit this year.

On Thursday, my alarm went off at 6am. I had a shower, a cup of green tea and a banana, and trotted down to Mill Hill Broadway to catch the 6.34 to St Pancras. I picked up another cup of tea and a copy of Private Eye, to read on the way in. At St Pancras, I transferred to the Victoria line and made my way to Victoria Station. Here I walked around the corner to the The Passage, arriving at ten past seven. The Passage is a day centre for Homeless people. I'd volunteered to do a morning shift, 7.30 to 10 am. A few quick introductions and then we started making preparations. I was told that I was on toast duty. The system is simple. The Passage receives food that has reached it's sell by date from a number of retailers such as Marks & Spencers and Pret a Manger. This is available for free to the people who attend the passage. They can also have two slices of toast and a drink. There is a fried breakfast of eggs, tomatoes, beans, sausage, bacon and mushrooms. These must be paid for. Each item is ten or fifteen pence. If the people genuinely have no cash at all, they can obtian a voucher to pay.

At 8am, the doors open and the people who use the centre start rolling in. I start my toast production line, which runs for the best part of two hours. I guess that for many people, the only homeless people we notice are the Big Issue sellers. We had a couple of them in for breakfast. People collect their breakfast and make their way a seated area where they can get a bit of relief from the cold and relaxation. Many of the people are eastern europeans, with a smattering of English. I try and greet everyone I can with a cheerful "Good morning" and ask them how much toast and whether they want it buttered. Some nod, some just hold up fingers, some have a little chat. A couple explain how they found themselves in this predicament. A couple had similar stories, coming over from Poland and finding the work in the building trade has dried up.

One guy, an Afro-Carribean Londoner told me of how a medical cock up had robbed him of the use of his leg, musing on the irony that despite his chaotic lifestyle, it wasn't this that was the cause of his problems. Towards the end of the shift, a guy came in and spoke to one of the staff, saying he was moving into a flat later. The help and councilling from the centre had helped him start to get back on his feet. He said he was volunteering and he was keen to "put something back". Despite his difficulties, he was upbeat and positive. The regular helpers said it was quieter than usual, although it seemed pretty busy to me. Many regulars were going to shelters such as the one Hildegarde is at.

The vast majority of the people using the centre were male, I discussed this with Emma, the volunteer coordinator. It seems that when relationships fail, men are usually the ones to move out. If there are children involved, the local authority has a legal responsibility to house the woman and children.

At 9.30am, the breakfast closes down. The toaster gets turned off and any remaining breakfast items are given out free. The regulars who know the system will have waited for this moment and take the chance to tuck in. A quick walk around the day centre during the session, showed the great facilities, geared to helping people find their feet. The majority of the people I'd served breakfast to were now sat around trying to catch some sleep in the warm. I was perhaps surprised how quiet they all were. Just sitting staring in many cases.

The last half hour was spent washing down surfaces and tables. Then I was off home. I had one of those moments of great clarity, we all sometimes get. On the train, I pondered that many of the people I'd met were probably younger than me. I'm fourty nine. I got home and googled the life expectancy of the Homeless in the UK and found this - - the life expectancy for them is 47 - 30 years younger than the national average of 77. Regular readers of this blog will know I've been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer (with no symptoms at all), I'll probably outlive them all. I've already lived two years longer than the expectation of those I'd just buttered the toast for. It was a  wake up call. Maybe I should count my blessings, rather than bemoan my ill fortune.

I hope you all had a happy and healthy Christmas

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Xmas Special : A Christmas nightmare - The one thing that really scares Mrs Angry

I read with sadness that Mrs Angry, the famous Barnet blogger has flu. Here's a specail blog to cheer her up - she may be a famous Barnet blogger and scourge of MetPro group of companies, and has been a fearless campaigner for decency, honesty and common sense in Barnet. You may think that nothing at all scares Mrs Angry. You would be wrong. There are two (and a half) words that can reduce this otherwise fearless champion of the Barnet underclass (ie everyone who isn't a Tory Councillor) to a gibbering wreck. How do I know this? Because those words will have a similar effect on me. Not just me, but a whole generation of Roman Catholics raised in Mill Hill. The words - "Miss O'Donovan".

If ever two people who attended St Vincents School in the 1940's through to the 1970's meet for a drink, at some point this name will come up. A few years ago, their was an advertising campaign where celebrities recalled their favourite teacher and how they influenced them. Is it any coincidence that two out of the famous five bloggers in Barnet studied at the feet of Miss O'Donovan? I was once discussing Dr Who with an ex classmate, who happened to be a Dr Who nut. I jokingly said that Terry Nation was an ex St Vincents pupil and he based the Daleks on Miss O'Donovan. He went strangely quiet and just said "Oh, I should have realised". Throughout all of my schooling I was naughty and constantly in trouble. Except for one year. I would have been six when I was in Miss O'Donovans class. Nobody was ever naughty in Miss O'Donovans class, because retribution was instant and painful. It was also often deeply psychological. There were many teachers during my schooling who were liberal with the cane. It really didn't bother me. With Miss O'Donovan it was always different, if it had just been being hit on the knuckles with the thin edge of the ruler, I could have taken that. It was the psychological build up which really hurt. It was the fact that you'd be called to the front of the class and all your classmates would look on, thankful that it was you not them. Miss O'Donovan believed in equality. Boys and Girls were equally treated. I had a massive disadvantage over most of my classmates, as I was dyslexic. I'd be called to the front of the class to read out words on the blackboard. I'd get them wrong. I'd get the ruler and a ritual humiliation.

But the good news was, like a blast furnace, once you'd been taught as a child by Miss O'Donovan, nothing could scare you. I am sure that at the time, persecution was part of the Catholic education ethos. Prepare the kids for pain, humiliation and martyrdom. I had often thought it strange that both Mrs Angry and myself learned our craft in the class of Miss O'Donovan. As I read her descriptions of the shenanigans of our council, I realise our education was all part of Gods plan. Little did I know that all those years ago, he was steeling us for a challenge that only someone taught through hardship and persecution could maintain. I have this message to Coleman et all. You really haven't got a clue who or what you are dealing with.

I hope Mrs Angry feels better soon and I hope whereever Miss O'Donovan is now, she has a great Xmas.

2011 - the year in blogs - Part two July to December

On we move to the second half of the year.

It was my official blogging birthday -  three years since I started writing a blog on the Hendon Times website - Happy Birthday to Me !!!!! - before that, being stupid and dyslexic, I'd never written much more than a postcard. We saw the end of the Mill Hill Music festival, which this blog had been the festival diary for - Mill Hill Music Festival - Final day . We saw the demise of the News of the World - News of the World - RIP - and we had Brian Coleman attacking unpaid volunteers who run a commiunity festival for being unprofessional. There was a fantastic guest blog from Hildegarde, dispelling the myth that squatting is a lifestyle choice - Guest Blog - Is Squatting really a lifestyle choic... - and we had a tragic murder in Burnt Oak - Burnt Oak Murder - Where is the leadership. The Barnet Eye took issue with the local press for their relative lack of coverage. I believe that I have been 100% vindicated because in terms of blog hits, three of the all time top 10 blogs for hits on this blog were ones concerning this murder. More sad news with the death of Amy Winehouse, who was a much loved customer of my studios - Amy Winehouse RIP .  And then there was the Barnet Eye's biggest exclusive scoop of the year. The appalling state of Barnet Council and its data centres - Barnet Council IT scandal - Your personal data is ....

In August we redesigned the Barnet Eye - Barneteye - site redesign to make it more readable. We had riots in London Town - London Riots - Stating the bleeding obvious , when for a couple of days, we really did have anarchy in the UK. We had a startling blog from Mrs Angry, describing how a local priest terrorised a pensioner and stole his banner at the East Barnet Festival - 'A bomb in the park': Brian Coleman, a dangerous b... I posted one of my favourite blogs of the year, a pictorial detailing a summer walk in Arrandene open space - ARRANDENE WALK - One of Mill Hill's hidden gems. It's great to remind ourselves what a beautiful place parts of Barnet really are and how lucky we are to have them on our doorstep. It also reminds me as to why we need to fight to preserve them. Then there was the SCANDAL I COULDN'T PUBLISH. I got this FOI response from Barnet Council - Trust & FoI responses. It confirmed that Barnet Council had asked the questions I needed answering. It confirmed that people had lied. Sadly because the only way to prove it was to expose the source of the information, I could do nothing more about it. I don't know why I naively believe people would tell the truth, but I did. And finally we caught Brian Coleman trying to sneak through his proposal to abolish Pay and Display - Brian Colemans plan to sneak in abolition of pay a.... He will pay and display for this policy at the GLA elections next year. And finally, we exposed how large companies entertain some of our local politicians and how certain decisions seem to be made in their favour.

The Belmont Childrens Farm appeal against Barnet Council planning enforcement was rejected - Belmont Childrens Farm - Planning appeal decision .... We had a comedic video of Brian Coleman at Hendon Town Hall - BARNETEYE TV - Live from Hendon Town Hall - Comedy.... We had Council workers on strike - Support the Barnet Unison strike, Tuesday 13 Septe.... We had huge banners from the CEO Nick "yerjob" Walkley trying to scare staff into shunning the strike - Photograph of Barnet Council CEO Nick Walkley's M.... We had a great guest blog from Julia Hines on outsourcing - Guest Blog : Greensquare Field – Planning to Outso... .
Barnet FC accused Barnet Council of trying to force it out of the Borough - Barnet FC accuse Barnet Council of failing footbal... and finally we had my favourite Friday joke of the year - The Friday Joke : 9/11/2011

The proudest part of the year - we raised over £500 for Cancer research UK, with my beloved doing the Shine Nighttime London Walking Marathon - Cancer Research UK - Shine London Nigh Time Walkin.... Little did I know at the time how this would become a little bit more of a cause of special interest for me - PSA tests and Prostate biopsy - The blog you don't.... We had Brian Coleman, sponger extraordinaire (the man earns over £114,000 a year, but lives in a flat with a subsidised rent, designed for poor families) telling a single mother who can't afford her rent to live in the real world  - Councillor Brian "live in the real world" Coleman....  We had more news on Chase Farm Hospital closure - more lies and broken promises from the government - Who says we don't need Chase Farm A&E.
The best news was Manchester City absolutely hammering Man U 1-6 at the Theatre of Dreams - Manchester City FC Special - The joy of six. One allows oneself the odd gloat! The worst news was the death of Steve Jobs - Steve Jobs RIP and the BBC's plans to scrap shows such as Robert Elms on 94.9 - Save the Robert Elms show on BBC London 94.9.

The big news for me personally was being told I have prostate cancer on the 8th November - Mr Tichborne, the result of your Prostate Biopsy i.... We had a truly shocking guest blog from Janet Leifer regarding care of the vulnerable in Barnet - Guest Blog by Janet Leifer - Destruction of Disabl.... That was hotly followed by a guest blog from Linda Edwards detailing how shoddily Barnet Council treated her disabled adult daughter - Updated *** Guest Blog - Linda Edwards Family Care.... Interestingly, in the same month that we had two excellent blogs from women in Barnet, we also had proof that sexism is rampant - Sid the Sexist is alive and kicking in Barnet ! where w detailed the trolls that monster women who stick their heads above the parapet. Even more shocking, we seemingly have racism being condoned at Barnet Council - Barnet Council - Where racism is OK if someone an.... We had a very successful residents forum organised by Barnet Alliance for Public Services at the Larches Trust - Barnet Local residents forum 29/11/2011 - Larches ....  Uproar hit Mill Hill as Brian Colemans Pay and display changes hit home - Uproar in Mill Hill and Edgware over removal of Pa... . On a high note, friend of this blog David Yates was named as director of the new Doctor Who film - Congratulations to David Yates.

The month kicked off with us detailing a fantastic night at the Everyman, detailing the John Hodges play Collaborators, being streamed live to the Everyman in Belsize Park - Collaborators - Live streaming at the Everyman in .... We had a superb buest blog from Linda Edwards about Adult Social Care, which has received an enormous and ever growing number of hits -Adult Social Care in Barnet - A guest blog by Lind.... We revealed an FOI response which demonstrated how bloggers have saved the Council a fortune -How much have bloggers saved the London Borough of.... We had the truly awful and shocking details of the Shannon Powell inquest - Shannon Powell Inquest - Lessons that must be lear.... We had an amazing video clip of Tory Councillor John Marshall rounding on Brian Coleman's contempt for his colleagues and demanding action from the Leader - BarnetEye TV - Barnet Tories turn on Councillor Br.... We had the moment when fellow Barnet blogger Mr Reasonable finally cracked - maybe he'll change his blog to "Mr Very Pissed Off". Finally the sad news for December - the Death of Brazilian legend Socrates Socrates - RIP .

Well campers, that's about it for now. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year or whatever greeting is most appropriate to you at this time of year. Here's my favourite blog pick of 2011 - hope you've enjoyed something in this blog this year.
Fast Eddie and Boggy working on the foundations of the new Mill Hill Music Complex Studios

Friday, 23 December 2011

2011 - the year in blogs - Part one January to June

Long time readers will know that at this time of the year, the Barnet Eye does a round up of the year. For me, 2011 seems like the longest year in history for a whole host of reasons. Anyway, without further ado, here we go

I think I wrote the saddest blog of my Barneteye blogging career. Shannon Powell RIP was dedicated to my daughters friend, Barnet Copthall Girls under 14 swimming champion and cross country runner, Shannon Powell, who tragically died of an undiagnosed heart condition, during the Middlesex Cross country championships. When I wrote this blog, little did I know of the shameful tale of incompetence that stopped Shannon getting to hospital. Guest blog of the month was from Hildegarde on homelessness and her experience at a homeless Christmas shelter. Today she's back for this years shift - Guest Blog : Spotlight on Homelessness in London b.... The big event in Barnet, which I am proud to have had a big hand in putting together was the Rock Against The Cuts rally at the Arts Depot - Barnet Rock Against the Cuts - Media Round up.
We can't let January go without reminding ourselves that this was the month that David Cameron mistook Hendon MP Matthew Offord for a soup waiter - Did the Prime Minister mistake Matthew Offord for ...

This featured one of the most popular and google hit friendly blogs - say no to 0870 - a useful money saving blog, telling you how to avoid premium rate phone rip offs - Say no to 0870 - Don't let these robbers rip you o...

We also saw the plans for Etz Chaim Jewish free school revealed to the people of MilL Hill - Full details of proposed new Jewish School at Wyva...
We had author Mark Billingham come out in support of our very successful "Save Barnets Libraries" campaign - Author Mark Billingham supports the Save Barnets L...
We also saw the shape of things to come, with Brian Coleman's disgraceful behaviour at a Council meeting discussing parking - Brian Coleman Barnet Parking Special : The Peasant...
and finally, just for our entertainment, we had Hendon MP Matthew Offord at it again - Doh - it's Matthew Offord MP again
And the Barnet Eye got a real scoop. The first (and funniest) video of a Barnet Council meeting. Dear old Councillor Hugh Rayner put himself on the map - Barnet Council vs The People - Hugh Rayner - Barne...


We had a great guest blog from Alan Grote about Rupert Murdoch taking over SKY news. When you read this, you'll realise what a long year it's been  Guest Blog - Rupert Murdoch gets green light totak...
Yup, sure was a long time ago wasn't it? Perhaps the shortest blog I've ever written was the precursor to the largest number of words ever written by Barnet bloggers. On March 1st, Barnet Council had it's annual meeting. Most of the Barnet bloggers were in the meeting, I didn't get in. I was filming the crowds outside and found that the inn was full. I wasn't too worried, the meeting would be well blogged. I went home and had a beer. I then checked Twitter. All of the Barnet bloggers were in uproar. A security company called Metpro rapid response were behaving like a tinpot fascist juntas secret police. I googled the company and posted this blog - Metpro Rapid Repsonse - Barnet Council Security at the time I thought it was quite funny, nothing more. Just one link to their website and another to a site saying they'd gone bust - no comment or anything. I thought it may cheer the bloggers up when they came home. What emerged was not funny and was the biggest scandal in the history of Barnet Council. One that still rumbles on. What can be said beyond all doubt was that if it wasn't for VickiM, Mrs Angry, Mr Reasonable and Mr Mustard, then this WOULD NEVER COME OUT. It is shameful that the CEO of Barnet, Nick Walkley,  has never personally thanked them for this.In fact the only person in any position of authority to even acknowledge this role was Lord Monroe Palmer at the Audit meeting to review the inquiry. It is shameful. The press contacted me during the audit inquiry and asked me "Which blogger first broke the story". The only honest answer is that we all did. The tweets were at the meeting and after all of the bloggers submitted FOI's, dug up facts and chatted to people at the meeting who filled in the gaps. I am proud of us all for what we did.
March also saw the birth of the fifth of Barnets famous five bloggers. Mr Mustard published this blog - Welcome - Economics not politics is my crusade 

By the end of the April, Barnet Council had reported him to the ICO because he'd upset them so much !

April -
The Metpro scandal rumbled on. But there were other things going on in the world. The best of these was Manchester City beating Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley. I was there - FA Cup Semi Final - Manchester City 1 - 0 Manchest...
 The saddest news was the death of Punk rock Icon - Poly Styrene - The day the world turned dayglo - Poly Styrene RIP... Brian Coleman also got himself a spin doctor - Barnet Eye Exclusive : Brian Colemans PR Guru name...  That went well, didn't it? And we had the Calm Down Dear comments from David Cameron - David Cameron Special - Calm Down Dear

and finally VickiM started the Barnet bloggers tradition of the Friday Joke - and we immediately copied - The Friday Joke

May -
Osama Bin Laden passed away - Barnet Eye Special - The death of Osama Bin Laden. Lynne Hillan quit as Barnet Leader - Barnet Council - Breaking News - Lynne Hillan quit...   The Barnet Eye predicted that Councillor Richard Cornelius would win the leadership election - Barnet Council Leadership Election - The reasons t...
We had a guest blog from John Cox about Pinkham Way  - Guest Blog - Domestic Waste in North West London and we had Ryan Giggs being properly appreciated, as only a Manchester City fan can - An appreciation of Ryan Giggs 
And I got to meet Sylvia Anderson, co creator of Thunderbirds at the RAF museum in Hendon - Sylvia Anderson at the Hendon RAF Museum

A cheery anecdote about Sir Fred Goodwin from a friend at RBS - Sir Fred Goodwin - A story to cheer you up . The Barnet Eye passed the 200,000 hits mark (since the Metpro scandal our hit rate has gone to around 30,000 a month by next June we may hit half a million!)  - Barnet Eye Stats special - over 200,000 hits in t... and Richard Cornelius became the Leader of Barnet Council - Congratulations to Richard Cornelius - The new Lea...   I explained why Toyah Wilcox owes me a shag Why Toyah Wilcox owes me a shag !
 and why I thought Dyslexia was Gods practical joke - Dyslexia - Gods practical joke

So dear friends, that was the highlights from Jan to June. Stay chewned for the next installment.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Barnet Eye Awards 2011

It's the time of year where we dish out the Barnet Eye Awards. So without further ado, here we go.

2011 Award for services to small businesses - Councillor Brian Coleman. With his idiotic policies on Parking, he is doing his utmost to ensure that as many small shopkeepers in Barnet as possible will be spending more time with their families next year, when their businesses go broke.

2011 Barnet Council employee of the year - Parking Supremo John McArdle for the magnificent service he's delivered to certain councillors, looking after certain sections of the community and making sure that they could park without fear of a ticket - - we just hope that Mr McArdle rolls this exemplary service out to the rest of Barnet in the new year.

2011 Award for services to standards in politics  - Councillor Andreas Tambourides - not only has he sat on the Standards committee all year, he has also been found guilty by the same committee for insulting a fellow Tory councillor and circulating scurrillous rumours about her. Like a real man, he's totally refused to take his punishment (simply apologising and doing some training in how to behave) and has appealed the decision. What a man, what a fine example.

2011 Award for services to the blogging community - Nick Walkley. When Mr Walkley took over in Barnet, there were only two bloggers writing about Barnet. Thanks to his efforts running a shambollock council, there are now five! An increase of 150%. If only he was as good at cutting waste. Not only that but Mr Walkley has ensured national recognition for said bloggers, with fans including Eric Pickles, the minister responsible for local government.

2011 Award for strong leadership - This goes to Councillor Richard Cornelius. Richard took over in May and since then he has led from the front. Richard takes no nonsense at all from anyone. When challenged by residents to sort out the mess he's caused with parking, he replied "Erm, um, oh, erm, I really don't think I can do anything about that" - Sock it to 'em Dickie

2011 Awards for Openness and transparency - This goes to Councillor Robert Ramsbottom. Bobby printed a fine blog describing his commitment to openness and transparancy  strangely for a man committed to transparency, he doesn't put comments up on his site.

Isn't Barnet a wonderful place

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Barnet Eye writes to all Barnet Councillors asking for a meeting to explain the ongoing Metpro scandal

Every Barnet Councillor was sent this email today concerning the issues related to the onging Metpro Scandal. We will keep you posted as to what response we get.  Quite coincidentally, Mr Mustard reports that Barnet Council have been awarded the title of Legal Bullies of the Year by Private Eye magazine. 
The article mentions the Metpro scandal.
Dear Barnet Councillor,
Please see FOI response below from Barnet Council. The facts of this could not be clearer. Metpro were operating without a contract, had gone through no procurement process, were charging over the top rates and were providing services which were totally unnecessary. They were paid over £1.4 million.
There are many questions still unresolved, more than 9 months after the scandal was first uncovered and following the audit of the "contract".  The recent disclosures about RM Countrysides agreement shows that this was not a one off. In these times of financial difficulty, it is clear that the taxpayer cannot afford to be taken for a ride like this. I call on you all to demand an emergency council meeting ASAP and to get answers to the following questions.
1.  How many other "non contracts" such as the Metpro arrangement are still operating within Barnet Council?
2. How many services are Barnet Council paying for, which are totally unneccessary?
3. Who within Barnet Council is authorised to allow such agreements to exist and what controls are in place to monitor and regulate them?
4. Where such arrangements are in place, what evidence is there that Barnet Council are receiving "best value"?
5. Who was responsible for agreeing the unnecessary work carried out by Metpro? What other work have they authorised?
6. Given that Barnet Council have now admitted that an unlicensed and unregulated company was operating without contract and supplying unnecessary services, surely the Corporate Anti Fraud Team or the Police should be invited to investigate the arrangement, to assess whether there was criminal activity?
The job of Councillors is to oversee the executive and ensure that the taxpayer is getting value for money. It is crystal clear from the Metpro fiasco that this has not happened in Barnet. The audit report was a first step in this process, but it seems that there are still issues being uncovered. With the recent issue of RM Countryside emerging, it is time for a full council debate on the subject. I would suggest that the CEO Nick Walkley and the Borough Solicitor Jeff Lustig should be asked to account for themselves as both the business process and the legal aspects of the Metpro arrangements were found to be sadly wanting.
This issue cannot be ignored.
Finally may I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Roger M Tichborne
PS. May I take this opportunity to remind you that it is the last day to respond to the Barnet Eye survey of councillors. For each returned survey, I will be donating £5 to the Mayors Charity. I will be publishing a full report on the survey including the names of all councillors who couldn't be bothered to respond and help the Mayor raise money for charity.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

How much have bloggers saved the London Borough of Barnet? Metpro savings revealed

Some things you can't quantify and some you can. Various stooge commenters have placed comments on stories on the Hendon Times website, making disparaging remarks about bloggers and the cost of Freedom of Information requests (FOI). The implication was that bloggers are merely a costly overhead and add no value to Barnet. As the bloggers of Barnet collectively uncovered the Metpro Securit scandal through FOI's and other enquiries, I thought I'd submit an FOI to see how much the bloggers of Barnet will be saving the Barnet Taxpayer. Since the Metpro Non Contract was terminated, two new suppliers have been used.

As Metpro were paid over one million four hundred thousand pounds, I estimate that the savings will be in the region of £200,000. That is to say nothing of any other contracts identified as a result of the various reviews instigated as a result of the inquiries.

Perhaps the most telling thing about this cosy arrangement is that Barnet have admitted paying over the top for unnecessary services, which have not been replaced.

Here is the response from Barnet Council to my request (my request is the second email)

From: ********
To: Roger Tichborne
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 5:42 PM
Subject: Security services - Cost of MetPro Contract

Dear Mr Tichborne,

I am writing regarding your request, received by the London Borough of Barnet (the Council) on 29th November 2011 for access to information regarding the cost of the security services.

We are processing your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the FOIA).  My response to your request is below.


The supply of security services is currently in the process of being re-tendered.  Since suspending the use of MetPro, we have been using the services of a number of different suppliers (mainly Blue 9 Security at Barnet House, Comer Property Management (NLBP) and Magenta Security Services for the Mill Hill Depot and others) on an interim basis.  In addition, some of the services that would have previously been supplied by MetPro have not been “replaced” – in other words, we have chosen to manage without additional security in some instances.  It is therefore not possible to provide you with an overall cost saving in the way that you have requested the information which gives any level of accuracy in terms of comparing “like with like”.  

We can, however, give you a cost comparison in terms of the hourly rates paid, which are as follows:

MetPro Rapid Response (hourly rate):                £17.00
Comer Property Management (hourly rate):                   £14.68            (= 13.65% cheaper than MetPro)
Blue 9 Security (hourly rate):                                             £14.50            (= 14.7% cheaper than MetPro)

If you would like me to provide you with sample invoices from any of the above, please let me know.

Whilst I appreciate that this may not be as detailed a response as you might have hoped for, I hope that this will give you an idea of the cost saving to the Council, instead of simply refusing to answer the question at all on the grounds that it would go over the cost limit allowed for answering FOI enquiries.

Your Rights

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been handled, you can request a review by writing to the FOI Officer at: The London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London, N11 1NP (email

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF (telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45; website:

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours sincerely

A********* ********
Governance Officer
Corporate Governance Directorate
London Borough of Barnet, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP
Tel: 020 8359 7***
net Online:
P please consider the environment - do you really need to print this email?

From: Roger Tichborne
Sent: 29 November 2011 07:52
To: Freedom of Information Act; Freedom of Information Act
Cc: Walkley, Nick; Cornelius, Cllr Richard Conservative
Subject: FOI Request - Security services - Cost of Metpro Contract

Dear Freedom of Information,

Earlier this year, following the disclosure by bloggers that Metpro Security group were operating illegally withing Barnet Council, the council replaced their contract with a new supplier.

Please could you provide details of the amount saved by using the new contractor. Please calculate this assuming that the invoices paid to the new company would have been paid to Metpro at the old Metpro standard contract rate. Where this is not possible please provide invoices and an explanation as to why.

Roger Tichborne

The Barnet Eye Mad World round up 20/12/2011

2000 years ago a star appeared in the sky above Bethlehem. A baby was born who would change the world .....

And here we are 2000 years later. What sort of a world is it?

This week we saw the deaths of two highly influential world leaders. Kim Il Jong and Vaclav Havel. Both have a long list of official achievements. Both changed their nations beyond recognition. Both were lauded by their respective parliaments for their achievements and ideas. They sound very similar don't they? How wrong you are! Il Jong got the job because his Dad bequeathed it to him. Havel got it because his people recognised his integrity and intellect. il Jongs achievements include a round of golf where he claimed a 38 under par with 9 hole in ones, verified by his bodyguards. Havel was a playright, dissident and founder of Charter 77. He was jailed for his opposition to totalitarianism. Both will see huge crowds for their funerals. The crowds for il Jong will be there because they have to be, for Havel they will be there because they want to be. That is the difference between democracy and dictatorship. That is why ultimately democracy wins.

Closer to home, we have the idiocy of David Camerons idea to give married couples £150, to "promote the idea of marriage". This is bonkers. I sometimes feel like I'm more of a Conservative than "Big Dave". I can think of no more profligate waste of public money than just giving away £150 to promote a lifestyle choice. I got married because I love my missus. If I'd had to pay £500 to do it, I would have because it would have been worth it. I suspect that one reason for the number of failed marriages is because it is actually too easy. If Big Dave has cash to splash, spend it on parenting classes for those at the bottom rung of society. That would be money well spent and would actually deliver long term benefits.

And then we have the news that the Taxman has let big business of £25 billion worth of tax. This is completely bonkers. These firms can afford large firms of accountants and have a duty to present proper accounts. I know more than a handful of people forced out of business by the inland revenue. How will these people feel when they see that massive firms making mega profits have been let off?

And finally... I hear that train fares are set to rise by 5.9%. Who does this hit? Working people, none of whom have had a payrise of anything like 5.9%. It will be interesting to see how much the private train operators profits rise. Maybe there is a friendly Tory out there who can explain something to me. We were told that privatisation would deliver a cheaper and more efficient railway. When was the last time fares didn't go up? Where are the cost savings. The taxpayer funds this and the privateers pocket the profits. It is obscene.

Note : The Barnet Eye has until now concentrated on local Barnet issues and by and large ignored world events. In future we will provide a weekly world round up. Hope you enjoy

Monday, 19 December 2011

Pensioners make fighting fund for solicitor to stop cuts to sheltered housing & care homes

 Barnet Eye Guest Blogger Linda Edwards requested that the Barnet Eye post this Notice. We are happy to oblige. There is also a short message from Linda after the press release text
Solicitor Yvonne Hossack who helped the disabled and elderly by preventing the closure of 80 care homes was refused legal aid to prevent the removal of Sheltered Housing Wardens from Sheltered Housing Schemes. 

Yvonne fought a high profile legal battle to prevent Barnet and Portsmouth Council removing Wardens from their boroughs.   If removed it would leave the elderly and most vulnerable at risk.   In December 2009 Barnet and Portsmouth City Council had dropped their appeals against a high court Judges decision giving Yvonne and the elderly a great victory.   
Earlier this year the Legal Services Commission made the decision to block Yvonne’s application for a legal aid contract, because of a minor typo error on the form.
The Commission saw the error and blocked the application stating that it would be unfair on everyone who had filled in the form correctly if they were to allow Yvonne to amend it.   What the Commission didn't tell Yvonne was that 795 other firms had also made mistakes, but they had been allowed to correct their mistakes and had subsequently been given legal aid contracts.

Is there a conspiracy to stop Yvonne helping the elderly?

Is David Cameron deliberately trying to prevent his policies and council policies from being challenged in court?

David Young the chair of the UK Pensioners strategy committee said
“We know what Cameron’s trying to do; we may be old but we’re not stupid.  We’re calling upon the elderly, the young and the disabled across the United Kingdom to support a fighting fund, which was set up to help Yvonne continue her legal battles to save  sheltered housing and care homes for pensioners and for our children who will need them in the future.   Considering the efforts and sacrifices she has made for us I think it is absolutely vital that we support her in any way we can. ”

Please make a donation for the fighting fund to
‘Hossacks Equality Law Principles’

HSBC BANK PLC: Sort code 40 32 04
Account number: 41580663

Or send postal orders or cheques payable to
‘Hossacks Equality Law Principles’ to

Mrs Mary Clarke-Bake, Treasurer of Hossacks Equality Law Principles
          8 York Street, Market Harborough LeicestershireLE16 7PF

For more information telephone:  Norman Adams 078 439 302 19
Message from Linda Edwards,

As a recent guest blogger on barneteye (concerned carer), I would appreciate any support for this campaign.  Yvonne Hossacks has been the one person who used her legal expertise and deep sense of injustice, to work with the system to make necessary changes for vulnerable people.  For all the people that she has helped, including people in sheltered housing and care homes, supported living and living alone, thank you for all you have done for us all, including my daughter.  Your input and involvement has been greatly instrumental in finding resolutions for my daughter and making changes for her quality of life and for many people all over UK.  Your involvement has been invaluable in making a huge difference to how my daughter has “been heard” by LBB Adult Social Care and Health.  If only Yvonne's support, skills and expertise wasn't needed!  It shouldn't be if the "Care System" that has been set up to work on behalf of vulnerable people had not betrayed us!

Linda Edwards
Guest Blogs are always welcome at the Barnet Eye. We also publish press releases concerning matters of interest to Barnet Residents. See email link in side bar