Tuesday, 4 October 2016

For the absence of doubt - another example of the disdain in which Barnet Council hold the public

There have been many betrayals by the Barnet Labour Party since I started writing this blog. The biggest, in my opinion, is the scandalous approach to the One Barnet oursourcing of Adult care to "Your Choice Barnet Ltd" a quango, which has been deliberately set up to remove accountability for the actions of the council in adult social care. The company failed, due to a very dodgy business plan within a year of its inception, requiring a taxpayer funded bale out. The Barnet Labour party waved this bale out through, when there was a golden opportunity to call time on a failed outsourcing.

Barnet Council have become very tardy with putting meeting minutes up on their website. In my research, I happened to notice that the minutes had appeared (I looked after the meeting and they were nowhere to be seen). These are still classified as "draft minutes" nearly three months after the meeting. I was actually looking for the minutes of the September meeting, which are nowhere to be seen (more on that if/when they ever appear).

As I'd almost forgotten this meeting, I had a quick look through and was reminded that the Barnet Labour Party had not even bothered to oppose the extension of the "Your Choice Barnet" contract through to 2022.

What seems rather odd to me is that they've agreed to extend the contract BEFORE a public consultation has been completed. This is absolutely typical of the disdain Barnet Council holds its residents. For the absence of doubt, here are the attendees and here is what they resolved. It is all there on the council website.

I personally think it is important that Barnet residents see just what our elected representatives are signing up to (they all get a minimum of Ten Grand a year for doing this in allowances for doing this).By the way, the meeting lasted less than two hours. Do you feel that your interests are being well served by these representatives. As far as I am aware, the votes were split on party lines, with the Conservatives voting for the motions and Labour abstaining (which presumably means they have no clue whether they are for or against it). Pathetic really. I daresay we'll get the usual lame excuses. I can see no reason why anyone should trust Barnet Labour if they don't even know if they are for or against major outsourcing decisions.


Decisions of the Adults and Safeguarding Committee 
16 June 2016 

Members Present:- Councillor Sachin Rajput (Chairman) 
Councillor Tom Davey (Vice-Chairman) 
Councillor Claire Farrier 
Councillor Helena Hart 
Councillor Dr Devra Kay 
Councillor David Longstaff 
Councillor Reema Patel 
Councillor Reuben Thompstone


The Chairman introduced the report which set out proposals for the future of the Your Choice Barnet Ltd agreement with the Council from February 2017. The Chairman invited Dawn Wakeling, Commissioning Director for Adults and Health, Julie Riley, Director of Care and Support The Barnet Group and Troy Henshall, Chief Executive of The Barnet Group to present the item.

Following a query about staffing, officers provided a response and noted that appropriate staffing arrangements are in place to ensure that employment issues are handled effectively.

Councillor Longstaff moved a motion to amend the wording of the first recommendation to read ‘for five years and two months’ which was seconded. Following agreement by the Committee, the motion was declared carried and became the substantive motion.

It was RESOLVED that:

1. That the Committee agreed that the Council enter into a contract with Your Choice (Barnet) Ltd (YCB) for five years and two months, from the 1st February 2017 to 31st March 2022, with an extension period of 2 years and a break clause at year three.

2. That the Committee agreed the proposals to continue all current YCB services whilst increasing support to service users to move towards more independent living and to participate in the workplace, subject to consultation.

3. That the Committee agreed to a period of public consultation on the proposals for a new agreement, to take place from July 2016 for a period of 12 weeks.

4. That the Committee noted that a report will be brought to a future Adults and Safeguarding Committee setting out the consultation findings.

Votes for recommendations 1, 2 and 3 were recorded as follows:

For 5 Against 0 Abstentions 4

Recommendation 4 was unanimously carried

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