Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Hello shy, hello sun, hello Capita - Barnet is coming around for tea !

Here's a joke for the senior management (see below for details) at Capita, who are in the process of taking over provision of 70% of services currently provided by the council.

Q: What is the difference between syphilis and the Barnet bloggers?

A: If you catch syphilis early enough, you can get rid of it.

Sadly no such option is available once you get the attention of Barnet bloggers. Now we are all highly reasonable people, who simply want the best for the place we live. If anyone had bothered to actually put forward an open, honest and transparent case which conclusively proved that the One Barnet proposal was risk free for the Barnet taxpayer and had benefits for the wider community, none of us would have turned our attention to it.

As it is, now you have engaged our services as armchair scrutineers, we intend to do everything we can to hold you to account and make sure that Capita's activities are properly scrutinised. Before Xmas we held Capita week where we highlighted other outsourcing schemes they'd implemented and discussed the issues raised. This tied in with a protest organised by the Barnet Alliance for public services.

Since then, a Barnet resident has launched a judicial review process, hoping to address flaws in the award of the contract. It may well be that Capita will have the golden prize snatched away by the High Court. I suspect if this does happen, in the long term it will be good for Capita. Barnet is a hornets nest of media activity. Whilst cockups in Birmingham or Liverpool are well away from the media hubs and so get relatively little coverage, Barnet is the world centre of innovative protests. We have a library run by Occupy movement, a team of bloggers who have been recognised by none other than Eric Pickles and a populace that gets up off it's backside and takes an interest. More people working in the media live in the London Borough of Barnet than anywhere else and many are on first name terms with various bloggers. We supply stories to The Guardian, The Daily Mirror, The Evening Standard, Private Eye, BBC, ITV London Tonight, and BBC London 94.9 to name but a few media oulets that have featured Barnet bloggers stories in the last year. We make films which get shown at the House of Commons and all around the land at such diverse places as the Edinburgh Festival and the Unison conference.

Anyway, I'm a nice reasonable bloke. I thought I'd ask myself down to tea. Listed below are the board of directors of Capita. If you guys would be interested, I'd be more than happy to give you a 1 hour presentation, explaining the likeley reputational damage Capita PLC may suffer as a result of its involvement with the One Barnet program. Whilst I'm sure there are many things Capita do well, I am sure that they have no clue as to how effective the bloggers of Barnet and the people of Barnet are at getting a message across. I'm happy to speak to the board and at least inform them what they are up against. There is an email link in the top right hand corner of this blog. All I ask for providing this service is a cup of green tea and an hour of your time. You will be able to ask me any question you like about blogging, campaigning, film making and use of social media.

I'd say you would be acting with negligence towards your shareholders if you didn't take the offer up. In my past life, I worked for many blue chip institutions on outsourcing projects, so I do have a comprehesive understanding of the issue and if there are benefits that the people of Barnet are unaware of, what better way to share them. If anyone at Capita thinks that the Barnet bloggers will simply disappear or get bored, just check this blog history and see how long we've been running the campaign. I'd suggest a quick look at the other blogs as well.

For the information of the Barnet populace, information about the Capita board of directors can be found here.

And here is who they are

Martin Bolland

Non-Executive Chairman
Paul Pindar

Chief Executive
Gordon Hurst

Group Finance Director
Andy Parker

Joint Chief Operating Officer
Vic Gysin

Joint Chief Operating Officer
Maggi Bell

Business Development Director
Martina King

Non-Executive Director
Paul Bowtell

Non-Executive Director
Gillian Sheldon

Independent Non-Executive Director

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