Ever wondered what the most influential organisations in Barnet are? Here is our list.
1. Royal Free Trust - They run Barnet General hospital. The statistical probability is that if you were born in Barnet or you die in Barnet (or both) this is where it will happen. You might even get better on the premises if you are lucky! I guess life and death are the most important things in life (and death) so it is clearly the winner. As someone who has spent far too long in their company over the last few years, I have nothing but praise for the staff of the organisation.
2. Barnet Council (and the bits of it that it controls but doesn't control such as Barnet Homes, Your Choice Barnet etc, the schools). The largest landlord in the Borough, the biggest carer and the people who take your kids away if you decide that its more fun to shoot up smack and smoke crack than care for them. Pretty damn important if you ask me. In my humble opinion the staff do a damn fine job, sometimes in very difficult circumstances.
3. The Metropolitan Police. These are the people who will cart you off if you are a naughty boy or girl. There is a large Police college in Hendon, where new recruits come far and wide to learn how to legally beat people up and restrain them, arrest them and generally make sure we all behave ourselves. In our humble opinion, they do a damn fine job. Barnet is a peaceable place and our boys and girls in blue are a credit to the Borough. Unlike the Police in many countries, in Barnet when we see the Police we feel reassurred (unless we are being naughty in which case we feel most unreassured - which I guess is a good thing). I think our local Police are a fantastic organisation.
4. The London Fire Brigade. If you are trapped in your house, it is on fire and you are about to die, then there is no finer sight than a member of the London Fire Brigade. As readers of this blog will know, they have helped my family out in the last couple of years. Luckily no one was hurt. Can we just pay tribute to them.
5. The London Ambulance Service. If you are having a heart attack or your aged mum is having a stroke, we appreciate the ambulance service. Maybe we should all appreciate them a bit more when our nearest and dearest don't need them?
6. TFL. Have you used a tube or a bus recently? Have you driven on an A road in the Borough? Even if you haven't, your dinner has! TFL are in the process of becoming even more important. They will be taking over trains from the awful Thameslink operators. In my humble opinion, the organisation does a fantastic job keeping London moving.
7. Brent Cross Shopping centre. So we come to the private companies in Barnet. Brent Cross is the largest shopping centre in the Borough. Love it or hate it, it is a huge player in the Borough, We cannot ignore it. It is about to get even bigger.
8. Saracens RFC. The largest sports club in the Borough. European Champions and current league champions. A true jewel in the crown of the Borough.
9. Mill Hill Music Complex. Londons largest independent studio. With 2,000 musicians a week using the company and the organisation that has helped launch Brit award winners such as Amy Winehouse and Kate Nash, music made in Mill Hill has touched the four corners of the earth. Africa Moto by Mose Fan Fan was used as a theme tune for the World Cup in South Africa. This was recorded in Mill Hill and is recognised as one of the top ten most listened to songs on the planet.
10. Thameslink. Last year approx 2.5 million people in Mill Hill alone used a Thameslink train, Another million used one from Hendon. Sadly for many, these journeys are all too frequently a misery, as the service is run by the nations worst performing major operator. We can only hope that things improve when the service is taken over by TFL.
Of course, this is just our opinion and we are quite clearly biased! What do you think should be in the list?