Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Exposed - The abject failure of Mike Freer MP's One Barnet folly

Back in 2008, Mike Freer MP was the Leader of Barnet Council. He believed that he could transform Barnet Council into a flagship of right wing ideology, by bringing in a large team of management consultants and by flogging off all of the services provided to private contractors. The logic for this was never financial. It was primarily designed as an exercise in Union bashing, with your money. Freer believed that Unions by definition kept wages and conditions good for staff, resulting in higher taxation for local people. His reasoning was that by bringing in private contractors, Unions could by and large be castrated and costs could be forced down. So millions (which have never properly been revealed) were spent on £1,000 a day consultants to design ways to pay people on low wages even less. After five years, we now see the results of their work

Parking - NSL Now run parking control. This has been a disaster. Fines are now seen as a cash cow and parking wardens buzz around like flies, looking for motorists to fine, rather than to do the traditional role of parking wardens, which was to ensure good flow of traffic. The special parking account has also not met the targets set.

Your Choice Barnet - Adult Social Care. Needed a £1 Million + bailout. This week the council issue a report on how to clean up the mess. It aint pretty, despite their attempts to apply a whitewash to the debacle. Huge cuts to services have been made to shore up the system.

Capita - Responsible for revs and bens and customer services. Current Leader Richard Cornelius announced in December that Capita would make a huge investment in systems for Barnet. He didn't mention the fact that the Barnet taxpayer would bung them the £16.1 million to invest. Hundreds of jobs have been exported and reports reach the Barnet Eye of multiple issues with the new systems, with taxpayers being unable to access services properly.

The truth is that tens of millions of our money has been spent on One Barnet. Barnet used to be rated as a three star council when it had in house services. Freer's folly has cost millions, that money has been flushed down the loo. Services have got worse and the local eonomy is suffering. When will its architect be held to account?

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