Thursday 5 May 2016

Barnet Council voting cockup - How many more cock ups do we need before we wake up?

To the best of my knowledge, the Barnet Eye was the first to break the Barnet voting omnishambles story this morning. I got on the 07:17 train from Mill Hill to Farringdon. On this I met 2 friends who told me something was up. I immediately started looking at Twitter and by 7:35, it was clear something major was up. We put this message up and started tweeting

Apparently Barnet Council have distributed the wrong lists to polling stations, so voters are being turned away. Make sure you bring your polling card with you.
Please email or tweet us with your experiences. This may result in the election being declared null and void, all thanks to Barnet Council and their incompetence.
I felt it was vital to find out ASAP so I wanted to get a blog up and get people exchanging information. This is how I believe social media works best. By 9am, the story was over the media like a rash!

I updated the blog at tea break and at lunchtime.

By lunchtime, all of the major news networks had covered the story. We soon had over 1,000 hits on the story. That is a lot for such a story.

Here are just some of the stories.

Barnet Council just sent the following email to all its staff

From: First Team [] 
Sent: 05 May 2016 16:57
To: AllStaff
Subject: Update for staff – polling station issues

As you may be aware, we experienced problems this morning with the electoral registration lists held at polling stations, which meant that some residents were unable to vote. The situation has been resolved and all polling stations are open and residents can vote as normal.  We are advising staff who also live in the borough, who may have had an issue with voting this morning, to return to the polling station by 10pm this evening to cast your vote

It seems that Barnet are keen to try and get as many of their staff to vote as possible to mask the effects of the cock up. It is interesting that they didn't give them time off.

It is amusing to recall that on Tuesday the Barnet Bloggers had a get together at Cafe Buzz (Helen Michael baked us some lovely cakes and brought a couple of bottles of plonk). We started to discuss all of the cock ups we've seen. Metpro, Catalyst, Aerodrome Road, Icelandic Banks, Your Choice Barnet, 2010 election irregularities, meals on wheels, Sheltered wardens. Just when we thought we'd got to the end of the list, someone popped up with another one.

The question was "How could they have got away with it all?" Well it seems that the CEO of the council is so arrogant that he has already announced he's not resigning

If I was the leader of the Council, he wouldn't have a choice. He would get the sack. But Barnet is now an officer run council and councillors are too scared to even argue with the senior officers. We really have had enough of this. Barnet have a history of problems at elections, but never on this scale. It may even be that this will delay the appointment of the new London Mayor. I for one hope it does. That way there will be no way they can do the usual whitewash. Make no mistake, this cock up has been caused by the outsourcing policies of the Council. The legal department is now run by Harrow and virtually no one is left who knows how to run a council. They have got away with it for long enough.It is time for major changes and time for the people of Barnet to get their council back.

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