"Yesterday I emailed every Barnet Councillor and asked for them to comment on whether they thought due time had been given to allow proper scrutiny. As of last night, not a single Conservative Councillor had responded. I had not even received a read receipt. Today a strange thing happened. Several Barnet Tories emailed me using private accounts. All asked for complete confidentiality, which I respect. What they have said disturbs me. It appears as if the local party are putting intense pressure on Conservative Councillors to bury their heads in the sand. The emails all have a common theme. This is
a) They agree that the time is woefully inadequate
b) They have been discouraged from finding information out about the project
c) They have been assurred that everything will be alright
d) No evidence to back this claim up has been given and requests for such assurances have been slapped down.
Another common theme is that these councillors understand exactly how this will end. As far as they are concerned (given that they deplore both One Barnet and the Labour Party). It will end with both One Barnet contractors and the Labour Party running Barnet. When they lost the Branswick Park by-election they realised that they may have a problem. The recent press coverage of One Barnet has made them realise that their time may well be numbered, save a miracle. Every failure, every problem a Barnet resident has once One Barnet has been implemented will be a bad news story and lost votes for the Conservatives in 2014. "
I was not too surprised as I often get emails from Conservative councillors giving me interesting snippets of information, if they want something to get into the public domain, but don't want to get blamed, it is a useful way of getting the information into the open. What flabbergasted me was the fact that yesterday ex Tory Councillor Brian Coleman went public with the full sordid details of just how bad things have got. The Hendon Times reports here on what Mr Coleman had to say
The pressure was revealed to be
By this time the leader's blood pressure was rising until he finally jumped up "red in the face" and said unless the Conservative Group supported this, all the libraries would have to be closed and social services would be reduced to a crisis-only mode.
Another sign of the cracks was a couple of tweets today by Mike Freer MP, seeking to distance himself from his One Barnet baby. Could it be that Council Leader Richard Cornelius has found himself up a well known creek, asking his friends for a paddle.
Meeting with the Chief Executive of the Council this morning, many routine items plus One Barnet update.
All rather odd, isn't it