Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Brent Cross redevelopment commercial agreements signed by officers under delegated powers

I was rather shocked to see that Barnet Council has signed commercial agreements with developers for the new Brent Cross development under delegated powers, with officers rather than elected officials taking responsibility. What is even more shocking is that these agreements are not available for public scrutiny. They are deemed commercially sensitive.

Delegated powers are designed to allow officers to take minor decisions, where no democratic oversight is deemed necessary. Given that the Brent Cross is a highly political decision and is the largest change to the Borough in our lifetime, surely letting officers sign these agreements is not appropriate.


The paper states
"To execute the commercial agreements in respect of the Brent Cross Principal Development Agreement (and associated documents), CPO Indemnity Agreement, Co-Operation Agreement and CRL Share Purchase Agreement in accordance with the terms approved by Cabinet Resources Committee dated 16 January 1014 and Urgency Committee on 26 February 2015."
The Barnet Eye believes that delegating decision making to officers is entirely appropriate when ordering paperclips, or other trivial matters. It is not appropriate when huge, far reaching decisions affecting thousands of people in the Borough are being taken. It seems that the Council officers no longer even bother to pretend to care about democracy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The decision did go through the 'democratic' so-called Urgency Committee.

There is a fear/joy that the Brent Cross planning application will fall, because nothing has been done for so many years.

They are - using the technical term for this procedure - in a mild form of panic.

The bigger issue is that the council is taking on huge financial risks to keep the Brent Cross show on the road - and they hide all the details in secret parts of committee meetings.