In a highly political and desperate move, Barnets Conservative Council has blocked local GLA member Andrew Dismore from holding a consultation about police station closures at Hendon Town Hall tonight. Apparently he was only notified late on Friday evening by council officers. The Met Police authority (controlled by the Mayor and GLA) are proposing to close Barnet and Whetstone police stations. Mr Dismore hoped to hold the meeting to gauge public feeling andreport back to the Mayor (ie to do his job).
Mr Dismore for Labour, replaced Tory Brian Coleman in May 2012. Mr Coleman was subsequently suspended from the Conservative party and is currently awaiting trial for the alleged assault of a woman in North Finchley. The council claim that the open meeting is politically motivated, a claim disputed by Mr Dismore who insists he is just doing his job. Mr Dismore emphasised that anyone could attend the meeting and if they supported the Mayors proposals to close the police station, he would report this back to the committee responsible. Mr Dismore felt that it was clearly a politically motivated decision, driven by the unpopularity of the Mayors cuts to the police service.
The Barnet Eye feels that the move is highly anti democratic and is yet another example of a botched PR fiasco by Barnet Council. The action makes the Council look petty and shabby and draws attention to Mayor Johnsons police station closure program. Mr Dismore will get far more and far better publicity for being banned from having the meeting than he could ever have hoped for had the meeting gone ahead. Not only that but local residents democratic rights have been infringed. In all a complete cock up.