Saturday, 29 August 2009

The myth of the Ryanair Council

Following on from yesterdays discussion regarding Barnet Council Leader Mike Freer's plans to turn Barnet into a "Ryanair" council. Mike Freer really doesn't understand the Ryanair business model at all. Lets have a look at a few things a "real" Ryanair Council might do.

* Abolish the post of Mayor & sell the mayoral limo. A Ryanair council doesn't need this sort of extravigance.

* Cut the number of Councillors by 2/3rds. Ryanair only employs people it really needs.

* Slash the salaries of senior Council officers. Ryanair Pilots are paid far less than their equivalents at full price airlines.

* Abolish expensive and wasteful self publicity programs. Does the CEO of Ryanair have a blog paid for by the company.

* Ban expensive jollies such as trips to the USA and Cannes in France, which cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds over the last few years

Having looked at where a Ryanair council may save costs, lets now look at why Ryanair are probably one of the worlds most successful Airlines.

* They do what they are supposed to extremely well (ie they fly you from A to B). In none of Mike Freer's discussions does he talk about delivering the basic services he's supposed to properly.

* They recognise that the customer has a choice. Poor saps such as us who live in the London Borough of Barnet have no choice whatsoever.

* They provide the service which their customers desire for less money than their competetors. A quick review of the Council Tax rates of other London Council's shows that Barnet are an expensive option.

* They have a clear focus on what they are supposed to provide. Adult social provision is the most basic service which a council can provide.

There is a rather sad little article in yesterdays Evening Standard. There is a rather unpleasant and insensitive quote from one of our Tory Councillors

Conservative councillor John Hart said: "With council tenants, it has been a lot of 'my a**e needs wiping, and somebody from the council can come and do it for me'."
May I point out to Councillor John Hart that there are many people in Barnet who require the Council to wipe their arse for them. They are the victims of strokes, senility, dementia and Alzheimers disease. My own father in law required the provision of these services for several years. Having seen council carers in action, I think it is disgusting that their efforts are dismissed in such a crass manner. Mike Freer explains further planned changes
"Just as Ryanair and easyJet passengers choose to spend their budget on either flying at peaktime or having an in-flight meal, recipients of adult social care in Barnet will choose to spend a limited budget on whether to have a cleaner or a respite carer, or even a holiday to Eastbourne. "
It is quite clear from this statement that Freer hasn't got a clue about the lives of people with disability. If someone cannot function without a cleaner and a respite carer, he is legally not allowed to remove the service. It's called a duty of care. As to the holiday in Eastbourne, if someone is severly disabled with no access to a normal holiday and no relatives to take them, it is only right and proper that the council provides such a break. Mr Freer doesn't talk about cutting down on council executive jollies to the USA and Cannes in France, so why pick on the weakest and most vulnerable.

Freer has no objection to Brian Coleman trousering over £100,000 from the public purse, being shipped around in a mayoral limosine and getting more luxury hampers from GLA suppliers than the rest of his GLA colleagues put together. Sort that out first, leave the poor and disabled who need carers to wipe their arses in peace.


Don't Call Me Dave said...


What a shame that John Hart made that comment. I had always considered him part of the sensible wing of the Conservative Party. I guess with Freer soon to be departing Barnet Council, all the other councillors are trying to make a name for themselves in the hope of a cabinet position under the next regime.

It’s all desperately sad and rather pathetic.

Rog T said...


Couldn't agree more, I always thought John Hart was a sensible bloke. It is amazing how Freer managed to nick all the worst bits of Ryanair's business model for his interview.