Saturday 31 July 2010

Welcome to my Evil blog - let me proceed to poison your mind

Well hello dear innocent victim. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am the devil incarnate. My soul purpose in life is to pervert and corrupt your mind so that you think behaviour such as voting yourself huge pay increases, lying to the public and being completely incompetent are incompatible with public office. If I get my evil way with your mind, you will only vote for dastardly wrongdoers who are interested in those smelly unwashed scumbags who happen to pay the bill via council tax, rather than the "beautiful people of the Barnet Tory Group". I champion people such as Tory Kate Salinger who bleat "I have a conscience" and vote aginst pay rises and I rather creully want to stop Councillors such as Brian Coleman from eating lots of dinners courtesy of people who have a vested interest in his decision making.

In short I'm a wrong 'un. You've been warned. Don't read this blog if you know whats good for you.

Here's a little quiz for you. A certain Barnet Councillor has been putting it about that I'm

a) Evil
b) I am poisoning the minds of the citizens of Barnet
c) I'm bitter and twisted and jealous of his success

Well dear councillor, let me tell you, I'm all of those things and far more !!! Ha Ha Ha

I bet you, dear reader cannot possibly guess which one of the 37 Barnet Tory Councillors has been saying such things. I'll give you a clue - it wasn't Kate Salinger !

Of course it's always possible he's talking complete B*LL*CKS, but I'm afraid I'll have to let you be the judge of that

Academies - Quite frankly, I don't give a damn !

A couple of people have emailed me to ask my opinion of Academies and the governments project to increase the number of them. I'm probably going to upset loads of people with my response. I don't give a S**T one way or the other. There are several reasons for my complete lack of interest.

My nephew who currently is living with us went to Edgware Academy. I've not actually asked him, but I don't think the experience has harmed him. Maybe what did harm him was being in the playground when one of his mates was stabbed to death, but that isn't really anything to do with the fact that the school was an academy, that was the world we live in. That is something I care about.

Being a registered thicko, I read all of the reams of articles, blogs etc and think to myself "I really don't know what the hell this is all about". Two of the Schools my kids attend will become academies if they get their way - St Michaels and Mill Hill County. Does this mean my kids will get better grades. Does it mean they will be more rounded individuals. Does it mean that when they look back on their schooldays, they will have more positive feelings than they would otherwise?

Now I'm not personally  too interested in giving my kids a huge advantage at the expense of everyone elses. The big problem is that if there is an underclass which is disaffected, then even if my kids are all geniuses, they will live in a City full of social problems. The Headteachers of both St Michaels and Mill Hill County miss no chance to tell us how marvellous their schools already are, so I don't understand the need to change their status. I'm not convinced that it isn't really just an excuse for a bit of headmastorial willy waving "Look how big my one is". No one at the school has asked me if I support it or not, even though I guess I'm a stakeholder. No one has said "we must do this because it will be good for these reasons". I'm naturally suspicious of anything I don't understand, which I'm a stakeholder in and which I'm being excluded from the decision making process.

But having said all that, raising the average grades of the Pupils of St Michaels at A Level from 100% to, um, er , 100% is a strange priority. Tomorrow a blog will magically appear about the Sound Skool project which I helped put together. This is a music project for kids aged 14-18 not in education or training. These are the kids who would be the priority in any civilised society. A couple of weeks ago I got my childrens reports. They were all good and I was rightly proud. Will it surprise you to hear, will you think I'm a bad father if I say that actually in some ways I was far prouder of the Sound Skool kids who spent 10 weeks at the studio on the Sound Skool courses? It's not that I'm not proud of my kids, but they really have ha every opportunity. Most of the Sound Skool kids have had none.

We did a workshop for some naughty kids and we had a huge posse of "support workers" appear with them. I wasn't around at the time. My staff told me they were shocked at what happened. Not with the kids but with the support workers. It wasn't what they did or didn't do, but their attitude. When the naughty boys returned home, we had a call from one of the mums. Her son was saying that the workshop was the best thing he'd ever done and he wanted to enroll on sound skool. We also got  a call from one of the supervisors of the "support workers". They had complained that we'd no provided an adequate area for them to sit down and we should have provided free refreshments for them.

We replied that we hadn't been informed that nine support workers would be attending and we hadn't been asked to provide an area for them to relax. We'd assumed that they would accompany the boys into the studio. As it was they didn't because it was too noisy. As to the free refreshments, we'd only been asked to provide this for the boys. We then asked whether the boys had enjoyed it. The response "They seemed to".

I was left with the distinct impression that it was all about the "support workers". I suspect that the academies is "all about the schools" not the pupils. But to be quite honest, until someone can sum up in two or three sentences, why acadmies are good, bad or indifferent for the general population of Barnet, quite frankly, I don't give a damn about the whole issue. No one has asked me and no one cares about my opinion on it

Barnet and Brent - Next Door Neighbours - Different worlds ?

Us lucky citizens of Barnet used to look smugly across to our West at Brent Council. We used to laugh smugly as Private Eye labelled them "Bent Council". Back in 2002 when the Tories took Barnet Council from Lib/Lab coalition, the Barnet Council Tax was hundreds of pounds a year less. Look what the Tories in Barnet have done.

2010 Council Tax Bands
Brent Band D Council Tax - £1368
Barnet Band D Council Tax - £1423

Brent Council hasn't been featured all over local and national press recently. The councillors there just get on with doing their job. They actually give the impression they care. One blog I follow is that of CouncillorShafique Choudhary, a Labour Councillor for Barnhill ward in Brent. Unlike Barnet Tories, Shafique likes to keep his voters informed of what he's up to. He does this by writing a blog (a free one). In his latest post, he mentions his attendence of the Barnet Planning meeting on Thursday - What he says is quite saddening - -

I reproduce in full what he had to say :-
Last night I attended yet another Barnet Planning Committee regarding the Brent Cross Development. What a contrast between the planning committee methods in Barnet and Brent! It seems, in spite of the neighbourhood proximity, the two borough are a thousand miles apart.

I felt proud being a councillor in Brent, not a “yes” robot in Barnet
Now you will notice that Shafique doesn't try and score party points. He just says that the whole system is broken. I left a comment on Shafiques blog saying I thought it was a bit unfair on our local Labour and Lib Dem councillors who I think are pretty good and most certainly not "Yes Robots".  The bottom line though, is that Lynne Hillan has transformed Barnet Council into a joke authority. If I had said twenty years ago that in a few years Brent Labour councillors would be publicly gloating about the ineptitude and stupidty of the Barnet Tories and everyone across the board would agree, you'd have thought I was bonkers. These days it is the Brent Councillors who hold their head high and walk with pride, whilst Barnets Tories skulk in the shadows, bottle out of Residents forums and only come out for free dinners at the expense of other people.

Friday 30 July 2010

Mike Freer describes Jewish critics of David Camerons Gaza comments as immature

Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer, clearly believes that brown nosing the boss (David Cameron) is far more important than representing the people who elected him. I was genuinely surprised to see him insulting the large Jewish community in his constituency. The Jewish Chronicle has a rather interesting report on the reaction to David Camerons comments regard Gaza being a prison camp.

What did Mr Freer have to say :-
"David Cameron remains a friend of Israel, but friends can still criticise if and when they feel they get things wrong. Governments have disagreements. That's grown-up politics. The community needs to be mature enough not to take his comments out of context."
So according to Mr Freer if members of the Jewish community, many of whom have strong family ties with Israel and some of whom have lost family members as a result of terrorism inspired by Hamas get up set at Mr Camerons comments, they are being immature. It seems that the Barnet Conservatives are having a competition to see who can seem most out of touch with the people who elected them. I just hope that whenever the next election comes, members of the Jewish community remember what Mike Freer said and make a mature decision as to whether he is a suitable MP.

Brent Cross Redevelopment - Were we spun a porkie on Tuesday?

I attended the Hendon Residents forum on Tuesday night. The subject of the Brent Cross redevelopment came up. Why was the meeting hurriedly announced. Barnet planning officer Martin Cowie told us that the discussion on Thursday was only to allow more time for the proposals to be fully fleshed out, which is a legal requirement. Nothing was being approved. At least that's what I thought was said. Then I read this

Here it says that the whole thing has been approved and that Martin Cowie has the power to order section 106 benefits. I must apologise for not listening properly. If anyone was there who could confirm whether I just got the total wrong end of the stick or whether Martin Cowie has spun a complete porkie, I'd be really grateful. I'm going to email John Hart and ask him what he thought had been said, as he's the chairman.

Please read the letters page of your local paper this week

Lynne Hillan assurred all of her councillors that the business of the allowance rise would "blow over in a couple of days". That was on the 13th July. For the third week running the local press have carried stories of their greed. The editorial comment this week is the most vitriolic I've ever seen. The letters page is full of anger and there is no sign of respite. Local Tory workers are up in arms, the national party is up in arms, it seems that everyone is up in arms. The credibility of the local Barnet Conservatives is in tatters. Hillan is still telling everyone it will blow over and be forgotten by the time we next have a council election, but every cut she makes, every employee she sacks and every mistake she makes will be another excuse to remind everyone of the sorry mess. The only way this will be forgotten is if she gets the sack and takes Coleman with her. A new team can then reverse the rise and wipe the slate clean.

That way they will get huge (if in my opinion completely undeserved) merit with the voters for listening.

Lynne Hillan Latest - One spread you won't want to see on the front page of the Barnet Press

 A certain very well known Tory, who used to be a Barnet Councillor sent me a very mischievous email, which suggested that if you want to be the Page 3 girl for the Barnet Press  there is a simple way to persuade the editor.

You may well read that I've sued a certain well known Tory Ex Councillor for causing me emotional distress. If you want to see the full story about the Barnet Press's Page three girl for July, click here. I advise you to view this before eating food as you may gag. Share my misery.

(or maybe it's that the council kindly bought a huge ad on the Front Page  - funny that. What a coincidence). Actually there was another character who also sprung to mind on seeing this picture (although much more attractive) :-

Thursday 29 July 2010

Clarification : The Barnet Eye and The Broadway Blogger

A few people have asked me recently if as well as being The Barnet Eye, I am also "The Broadway Blogger". Some naughty souls have even suggested I've done this to promote a "veneer of respectablity" and so I could leave comments on my own blog  ???? They have suggested as evidence that there is no email link for the Broadway blogger, that he clearly plays in a band and has music interests, eats and drinks at the same places as me.

Nope, wrong on all counts. My band is The False Dots, I've nothing at all to do with Gareth Icke who he's promoting. I don't need a veneer of respectability, the blog stands or falls on it's contents. The Broadway Blogger is a customer of my studio, but I've not spoken to him about his blog (or about anything for a few years and then only to take bookings). I like the Broadway Blog, I hope it stays successful. In many ways it's a little bit what this blog would be like if Barnet Council wasn't run by twats (although there would be more music and more football). I think the Broadway Blogger should set himself up an email link on his profile though.  A couple of people have said that they'd possibly like to advertise on his blog.

Oh and I'm not shagging Mrs Angry as one naughty email correspondent suggested.

Barnet Tories : The Good, The Bad and The Ugly !!!!!!

I was heartened to see that the "conscience" of the Conservative Party is still alive and well in the general membership. It seems that while all of their councillors (bar Kate Salinger) lack backbone, the wider membership is not afraid to speak it's mind. The Hendon Times reports that the Chairman of Hendon Conservatives, Adrian Murray-Leonard has branded Hillan and co "greedy vultures" following their decision to award themselves huge payrises at a time of national belt tightening. Read all about what Mr Murray-Leonard had to say here :-

It seems to me that we can divide the Barnet Tories up into three Groups when it comes to the issue of awarding  yourself huge payrises -

The Good -
Kate Salinger (who was the only Tory Councillor to abstain and got ritually humiliated for her trouble)
Mike Freer MP and Matthew Offord MP (both criticised the increase)
David Miller (former chairman of Chipping Barnet Conservatives)
Adrian Murray-Leonard (Chairman of Hendon Conservatives)
Every single Barnet Conservative I've spoken to who isn't a Barnet Councillor (and the many who've privately emailed me to express disgust)

The Bad
Council Leader Lynne Hillan who has shown herself to be a complete hypocrite on the issue
Councillor Graham Old who despite knowing Kate Salinger was right lacked the backbone to stand up for her
Councillor Barry Evangeli who used the opportunity to snaffle an allowance, when Kate Salinger lost a committee chairmanship
Councillor Hugh Rayner who was distributing a very brown nosed press release saying that the increase was a good idea, completely ignoring what could have been done with the money had it not been spent lining the pocket of the cabinet
The rest of the motley crew of Barnet Tory Councillors who gutlessly voted for something they know to be morally wrong

And the Ugly

Hard working Councillor Brian Coleman who trousers between £114,000 and £121,000 from the public purse (depending who you believe) and claims he spends 100 hours a week beavering away at his desk.

And last but by no means least

Well if it ain't old Tessie Viler than a blocked drain Villiers. The only Barnet MP to think it's a spiffing idea for her mates to line her pocket. Of course given that she' rather partial to a little bit of troughing herself it's hardly surprising is it.

Sadly all the troughing seems to be taking its toll !!!!!

Oh, by the way, let me share a little snippet of gossip with you. Apparently Mike Freer MP has been telling his friends that he's rather enjoying the experience of not being beholden to certain friends of his at Barnet Council - this is my interpretation of his exact words - I'm sure you get the gist.

Lynne Hillan, Maureen Braun, Troughing and the Brent Cross Redevelopment

Tonight Councillor Maureen Braun's planning committee is again discussing the Brent Cross redevelopment. This hugely unpopular scheme is yet again under the spotlight and the BBC have threatened to turn up to interview protestors outside the meeting.

What's this all got to do with Lynne Hillan and her troughing? Well sadly quite a lot. Hillans leadership has created a climate where no one trusts our local politicians and everyone believes they are on the take. When Maureen Braun and her chums discuss the proposal, no one actually believes that they give a monkeys about the local residents. This sour bunch voted themselves huge rises, whilst urging everyone else to show restraint. Have the developers and our local councillors got, shall we say, a "too cosy relationship"? Who knows, ,but given how they've shown where their priorities lie, how can anyone trust them?

You may recall Lynne Hillan spoke up at a previous planning meeting for the scheme, something leaders don't usually do. Sadly Lynne is the last person to sell a scheme as in the interests of the Barnet public. She is damaged goods

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Leader of Barnet Council Lynne Hillan exposed !!!!!!!

The column on the left is the editorial column from the latest issue of Barnet First (click on it to make it easily readable - the bits in Yellow were highlighted by me). This is the Barnet Council mag for residents (here's the link - ). I've highlighted a couple of sections in yellow which show the crass hypocricy of Lynne Hillan, Leader of Barnet Council.

In the first of the two sections she talks about "better services with less money" in the context of youth services. You've got that, the person who just awarded herself a payrise of over 50% thinks the young people of Barnet should find better ways to do things with less money. Not that an old hypocrite like Lynne would actually consider doing it herself, or see the irony in her statement.

In the second section she says "We face hard financial times and difficult choices in the public sector over the next few years". What's with the "We" Lynne. You don't, you've just awarded yourself a huge payrise.

Now she has quite clearly decided to go on the offensive to defend her cash hike. She gave the Hendon Times an interview today (Click here for the full version on this vile crap -

Let me give you a few sickening snippets from our glorious leader.  Hillan says :-
The roles are much more professionalised. If you have volunteers, then you are going to get people who are not working, some who are retired. You aren't getting the right sort of people for the right jobs.
Hillan is trying to make out that there is a switch from voluntary councillors to a professional breed. This could not be further from the truth. Councillors have been paid generous allowances for part time jobs for years, as she later admits.
If you are in the cabinet, there is no way you are not working in the town hall at least two days a week.
This rather gives lie to Brian Colemans claim of working 100 hours a week, exposed elsewhere. My mind went back to the dim distant days when I used to write a blog on the Hendon Times. This was in the days before Don't Call Me Dave had even started blogging,  let alone retired from it. He left a very illuminating comment on a blog I wrote called "Three Cheers for Brownite Freer" (about then Council Leader Mike Freer)

(Link - )

Davids comment left on 05/07/08 says this about former leader Mike Freer
The same argument applies to councillors. A few years ago, they received only a token allowance and stood for election out of a sense of civic duty. Now it's just a gravy train. A public notice published this week reveals that Mike Freer received over £47,000 last year for what is supposed to be a part time job. Mike Freer himself admitted last year that the Chief Executive does all the work! 55 other councillors received substantial 5 digit sums in allowances. We, the people, have never been consulted about this. Councillors will say that their pay is set by an independent panel but nobody puts a gun to their head and forces them to accept allowances against their will.
Sadly under the Hillan Tories, the situation is far, far worse. Has the workload mushroomed in two years since Mike Freer made his comments. Well given that we now have a CEO called Nick Walkley on £200,000 a year ( a huge rise on his predecessor Leo Boland - supposedly necessary to attract talent, even though Walkley already worked for the Council). His two deputies also earn £180,000 a year each, again more than the sum for the CEO when Freer made his comment. So if we've got such a huge mushrooming of senior execs on huge salaries, how can their possibly be more work now for Hillan?

Interestingly Hillan does come up with a way to cut the costs of councillors.
There are various ways of doing it. There is a national scheme looking at whether it should be three councillors per ward or maybe it should be two, that would shrink the pot immediately.
Again a rather Hillanesque remedy. Get rid of the "lesser beings" to preserve the pot for the big beasts. Now I would support the immediate implementation of this scheme as we are in a time of austerity. I would say that it would be rather easy to implement, just get rid of the councillor who came third in each ward. I would suggest that we run a pilot in Brunswick Park immediately - -

Hillan, Lynne              - Conservative - 3307
Rutter, Lisa                - Conservative - 3353
Tambourides, Andrea  - Conservative - 3496

Interestingly, the old rule of elections is that the candidates who do best are the best known and the ones with the alphabetically first name. Hillan as Council Leader and first name should have been well ahead. It really says much about those who know her best.

Lynne Hillan is exposed by her own words and deeds as a greedy hypocrite. She uses the term "we" to talk of cuts in the public sector, whilst planning a pay hike. She pretends that their is more work to do, whilst employing more and better payed Council Executives. She tries to con the public into thinking she used to do it for nothing, by talking about volunteers, as if this was her role prior to the huge payrise. She doesn't care about the people who work for Barnet Council, she doesn't care about those such as the residents of Sheltered Housing who she has a duty of care to, she's even prepared to sack her own back bench councillors to keep her cushy lifestyle. Normally after a couple of days writing about a subject, I run out of things to say. Sadly on this one, there is enough anger, material from correspondents and other background info to keep me running on anger for the next six months.

Fat Cat Councillors and a regime of failure

Last night at the Hendon and District residents forum, I was given a "press release" by Councillor Hugh Rayner, which tried to justify the fat cat allowance rises for councillors. As you may know some Tory Councillors will have allowance rises of up to 100%. Councillor Rayners press release said that this was OK, because they'd cut the allowances for other councillors to pay for it. There are many things wrong with Councillor Rayners logic. I was trying to think of a suitable response when I went to bed last night.

I awoke this morning to listen to LBC and the news that yet another young child had starved to death due because of council neglect. That is all we need to know. If some counciollors have had their allowances cut then fine. Use the money to pay for more social workers to prevent this happening in Barnet. Don'[t use it to fund rises for their mates. How many front line workers would the rises pay for? How many people may that save. Their is no justification.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Stuck in the Middle with You - A John Hart tour de force

Do you remember "Stuck in the Middle with you" the 1970's hit for Stealers Wheel. Watching John Hart and Sury Khatri chair the Hendon Residents Forum, I was reminded of this classic songs lyrics.
Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.
Watching John and Sury chair the meeting, I started to wonder if I'd at some stage in my misspent youth been slipped a hugely powerful halucinagenic drug and I was really lying in the ward of a mental hospital imaging it all. I missed the first question. I entered the room during question 2. Hale Ward Councillor Hugh Rayner came up and asked me to make sure I read his press release justifying voting for huge rises for Tory Cabinet members. Sadly he didn't have one to actually give me, which meant I ended up sitting with the Labour troublemakers - Andrew Dismore and his merry men (as I know them and thought they'd give me a copy). I hadn't really intended sitting with them, but it meant that there was a little cabal of smart alec trouble makers all sitting together waiting to ambush poor old John and Sury. Question 2 was from local environmental champion Clive Cohen about topsoil. I hadn't anything to add.

Question 3 was from Mr Dan, who I don't know but I suspect is a disgruntled Burnt Oak Resident. It's points were many and vaired. John Hart asked told us to look at the table of figures and asked if we were happy. We were all nonplussed. He said "right if there are no questions, we'll move on to question 4". Sadly for John, Mr Dan then said "I've not even started". He read out a prepared statement which started "I've lived in Burnt Oak since 1940" or some such thing. The gist of it was the Tories were rubbish and he wasn't happy. John Hart tried again "Well if thats it". I then piped up saying that the council hadn't actually answered point "B" which is "what is the councils position of the £M's placed in Icelandic bank?" They had simply spewed out some waffle. John Hart tried to persuade us that the council had done a spiffing job, earning £25 million a year in interest and that they had to invest the money overnight. Andrew Dismore made a couple of relevent points, to which John Hart said "I don't do figures" and then "I wasn't in charge". He explained that you had to invest the money. I asked him if he was aware that the Council hadn't followed it's treasury management policy. His response was along the lines of "I don't do figures and I didn't invest the money". In short the "not my fault guv'nor" defence.

Cue question 4 from Andrew Dismore (ex MP).  John Hart objected to the fact that an ex politician was making political points at a residents forum. Mr Dismore pointed out that he was a mere resident and John Hart was the politician. Mr Dismore was trying to get a statement out of Mr Hart on the Allowancegate scandal. When he finished, I tried my luck. "Dear Mr Chairman, do you agree with the statement made by The Chairman of the Finchley Residents forum last night when he said that Councillor Kate Salinger was his hero". John replied (cunning linguist that he is) "Surely he said Heroine". I said he'd definately said hero and did John agree with this in light of her principled stand against the increase. John replied that Kate Salinger was indeed a very highly principled woman, unlike himself. I'm sure he added under his breath "I've got no principles at all", but I may have misheard him. At this I asked him if he'd got a rise for chairing the residents forum and he said "No and Sury actually got a pay cut".  I thought to myself "what sort of idiots have we elected in Mill Hill. They only support troughing by other people". It would be bad enough if it was for them, but all that derision so the likes of Brian Coleman can have an extra week on holiday in Dorset with his mum.

When it was clear that we would get no joy, we moved on to part two of Mr Dismores  question. What did John Hart think of the cancellation of the school building program, which condemned pupils at Copthall and St Marys to study in slum like squalor. Mr Hart said it was necessary as Andrew Dismore had spunked all the money. I asked how Mr Hart as a former polytechnic lecturer and Mr Khatri as a nuclear scientist could justify the cuts. He replied that it was vital to fix the mess that Andrew Dismore left. Andrew Dismore then explained that this was not the case at all. Given that it is the children of Hendon who suffer, it made me feel rather sick.

At  this point I started to hallucinate that John and Sury were really members of Stealers Wheel.  The middle eight came to mind
Well you started out with nothing,
And you're proud that you're a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please.... Please.....
We then moved on to West Hendon redevelopment. Same argument "Labour spunked the money" from Hart, from Dismore "Why have you done nothing for ten years". John Hart then the "Not my fault guv" defence, pointing out he'd only been on the council since 2006. Labour Councillor Julie Johnson interjected and made a couple of rather wise and non partisen comments about the problems with the scheme. my mind went back to election night. There was a time when the Labour candidates thought Julie may have lost. Thank god she didn't. It was a pleasure to see someone on top of their brief. Councillor Khatri made a little speech about the problems, but it was clear he knew nothing about the subject. I suggested he did his homework and finished the speech at the next meeting. He looked rather hurt.

The next question was from Nagus Narenthira again about Councillor pay rises. The Council had deployed some sophistry in their answer. We pointed this out several times but I suspect that John Hart was rather pleased as it got him off the hook. There was a bloke sitting next to Hugh Rayner who I think is a Tory Councillor (I don't know his name). At this point he said "what does it matter". Well it rather matters a lot that the council get things right, follow the rules and don't make mistakes.

The reason for the Icelandic fiasco, the Aerodrome road overspend, Partingdale Lane legal fiasco, Underhill Fiasco etc is just this. Lack of attention to detail. I asked what John Hart thought of the GMB's legal challenge to the allowance rise. His response "I used to be a trades unionist you know". He then said "good luck to them, it's their right in a democracy" or words to that effect.

The next question, at which point I made my exit was about shrubs in a playground. John Hart announced he was pleased to get back to "non political proper residents forum questions". I'll bet he was. I'll bet he was even more pleased to get home and have a nice glass of valpocella or the like. I don't think he really enjoyed the meeting. John Hart's idea of a good forum is one where he cracks a few jokes, gets a few hedges cut and is out by 8pm for a beer. Sadly the audience in Burnt Oak this evening were not in the mood for any of it.

Has Graham Old found he's grown testicles?

What is this? The blogs of Barnet were awash with reports that Graham Old publicly stated that Councillor Kate Salinger was "his hero" at the Finchley Residents forum last night. We can but imagine how this went down with his chum Brian Coleman. I was preparing a "Graham Old - the human jellyfish" special to highlight his absence of backbone. Could it be that he has however sprouted testicles and belatedly decided to show that he cares about more than lining his pocket. Mrs Angry does a fine write up of the Finchley residents forum - - if you want the full story. I wasn't there.

The Barnet Bugle displays a nice picture of the Salingers meeting Eric Pickles, probably the most powerful (not so) coded message yet as to where the sympathy of the Tory cabinet lies  -

I'm off to see what happens at the Hendon Forum. This is the third in the series of forums ( I like forums - I used to have an unhealthy obsession with a magazine of that name as a teenager)  - at the moment the score is 1-1 between the pusilanimous creeps (captained by Barry Evangeli) and the Oh my lord I've grown some nuts brigade (captained by Graham Old). Which way will crusty veteran John Hart swing? Watch this space.

Calling Barnet voters - Is this why you elected Tory Councillors?

Let's have a little discussion as to why any allowance or salary is set at a certain level. The whole idea is to attract the most suitable people for the job. If lots of people can do it and it's fairly mundane, salaries tend to be low. If it requires a high level of unique talent or it is a job not many people could do or would want to do, then it tends to have a high salary. Generally salaries are reassessed when organisations are looking for fresh talent. If they have had trouble attracting the right quality of people, then you up the salary. If there are a surplus of people who want to do the job, maybe you are paying too much.

Now the argument that the Tories in Barnet are using to justify the salary is, well "because they are worth it". Now if 18 months ago they'd said "We've had to put up with a completely useless idiot of a leader who lost £27.4 million in Icelandic banks (Mike Freer), another idiot of a deputy Leader who overspent £11 millon on a budget of £12 million at Aerodrome Road (Matthew Offord) and we've got a cabinet member for Social Services who has lead us on a disasterous policy of abolishing Sheltered Housing wardens which has lead us into a court case which we've lost (Lynne Hillan), they might have got some agreement from me. If they'd have said that the Barnet Tory Party was full of useless placemen and they were throwing the selection process for new councillors completely open to all with the promise of 100% pay rises if they won (as part of their manifesto) justified by the need to replace the likes of the failed team, I wouldn't have disagreed when they implemented the policy.  There would have been a justification and a popular mandate for change.

But the truth is that is the opposite of what they did. They hid the fact from the electorate that their first major action would be to award themselves huge pay rises. They didn't sack the failed old guard and try and recruit fresh blood. The only Tory councillors who were replaced were those who lost their seats, those who had legged it abroad, those who had fallen foul of the regime and been shafted and those who left to become MP's.  The replacements were specially selected lackies such as Barry Evangeli, who had dedicated his time to writing letters to the press saying that Brian Coleman is marvellous.

It is quite clear that there is a large surpless of Tory Councillors who would love to become cabinet members at the old rate of allowance. The Council Leader, Lynne Hillan fought like a polecat on heat to get the leadership, at the old rate. If she stepped down tomorrow, I know of at least three Councillors who would immediately snap up the job regardless of whether it was at the old rate or new. The whole grubby saga sums up the way allowances are paid in Barnet. They are not used to attract new talent, they are used to stifle competition and bludgeon Councillors into supporting the morally bankrupt policy of the leaders.

They used a three line whip on Councillors to ensure that they voted for the payrise and the one Councillor with the guts to say no, Kate Salinger was ritually humiliated in a public council meeting.

So if you voted Conservative in the elections in May tell me this. Did you vote Tory because you wanted an administration that behaves in this way? Do you think that it is acceptable for politicians to hush up a huge payrise until immediately after an election and then bludgeon it through, at the same meeting where they said everyone else would suffer from cuts.

In Mill Hill, where I live, we elected two new Tories to join John Hart. There names are Sury Khatri and Brian Schama. They've been councillors for nearly three months now and I only know of one thing they've done. They voted for this big payrise for their political bosses.  Do you know who your Tory Councillors are? Do you know of anything useful theyv'e done since being elected? Unless there name is Salinger, they voted for the rise. Is that why you voted for them (if you voted Tory)?

I received an email yesterday from the Hendon Times. They have reported that they've had an overwhelming response to their petition against the rise. If the Barnet Tories think this is going away any time soon, they can add deluded to their list of faults.

Monday 26 July 2010

Barnet Architecture Special - what the hell is going on

What is the biggest story in Barnet right now? Actually it's not the Allowancegate scandal where Councillors voted themselves a huge rise. Sadly though this is disgusting, I doubt anyone will remember is in ten years time. The same cannot be said for the Brent Cross regeneration scheme. That will be around to haunt us forever. This is a huge scheme, one of the largest in the UK. What has interested me all along, is whether it will be as bad as the prophets of doom are making out?

Architects are normally keen to "Big up" there work. They normally shout from the rafters about it. Given this huge project, I found a rather strange fact out. There is an organisation called Open City which promotes good architectural practice. They hold an annual festival promoting their aims - you can find out about it here - . There are only two London Boroughs not participating. Barnet is one of these. What does it tell us about Barnet and it's architecture that they are just not interested. I suspect the reason is that they think the less we all know about the proposal, the better. The protestors seem to agree - here's their latest press release
Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan - Press Statement
Barnet Rushes Through Brent Cross Plans
For immediate release 26th July 2010

This Thursday 29th July, Barnet Council planning and environment committee will be discussing the controversial Brent Cross Cricklewood planning application.  The proposals have been recommended for approval by the committee.   The Coalition of groups opposing the controversial scheme is questioning the need to rush through the detailed proposals, given that the planning application has to come before the committee in October in any case.  A number of Brent Cross Coalition members have applied to speak in opposition at the meeting, and the opponents will be holding a demonstration outside Hendon Town Hall at 6.30pm .

David Howard, Chair, Federation of Residents Associations in Barnet and BXC Coalition spokesperson, says:

“Barnet Council’s decision to rubberstamp plans for the Brent Cross Cricklewood redevelopment at the end of an ordinary planning meeting this week is suspicious, but not surprising.

“The scheme has been inadequately negotiated between the Council and developers, and reneges on conditions applied in November.  Given that section 106 documents have largely been rewritten, it is completely unclear what the Council is being asked to approve at this week’s meeting.

“We would like to know why Barnet have brought the Brent Cross report to committee this week, with barely a week’s notice and at the end of July, when it could have been more fully considered in October. We believe that documents sneaked through without proper scrutiny now will become more difficult to challenge at the October meeting - or at least, that is the Council's intention.

Panic and mayhem in the Barnet Tories

So how have the Barnet Tories responded to becoming the latest example of a basket case council and the new right Militant Tendency? Well the leader who's impecable judgement is holding a a crisis meeting 'party' for 'new Councillors' at her house, Ashurst Road (made famous by her company Ashurst Direct Marketing Ltd, which went bust owing the taxman thousands of pounds), Finchley N12 on Monday night to try and shore up support. On Tuesday she's got an official Cabinet Briefing meeting. They will be holding an crisis / emergency political cabinet where, I understand, she'll be calling for a vote of confidence in her leadership (this info comes direct from sources within the Barnet Conservative party)

So you've got that. If on Wednesday morning, she's still in the job after the "Allowancegate Fiasco", that means that all of the Tories in the cabinet have "confidence" in her. Put it another way, they either lack the balls to tell her the truth for fear of losing their allowances or they genuinely think she's the most capable one of the lot of them (that's what a vote of Confidence means). Given the complete cock up she's made of the job, if they all think they are worse than her, lord help us as we've got four more years of them.

Of course Lynne, you could do the honourable thing. You could stand up and say "I've shown appalling judgement. We must restore confidence therefore I'm calling for a vote to reverse the allowance increase, I'm reinstating Councillor Salinger to her previous jobs and I'm resigning before I can do any more damage".

If you are a Barnet Tory and you want to save this shower from themselves, please get in contact and explain how important it is for them to do the decent thing. This link gives you all the details you need to contact any Barnet Councillor  -

Oh and don't forget to sign the petitions listed in the sidebar to register your disgust at their huge, self awarded pay rises.

The Brokeback Coalition in Barnet?

As many regular readers know, I stood for the Lib Dems in the March Council elections. A few of them who know the history of my band (The False Dots) will know that at one time, we used to end our set with a cover of "Space Cowboy" by the Steve Miller Band (historical note : This is not the song "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band which many people mistakenly think is called Space Cowboy).

I was reminded of this by one of our bands famous "Mork Dancers" last night who played five a side with me last night. He said "Did you hear David Davies calling the coalition the Brokeback Coalition yesterday". I replied "Yes" rather tersely. He then said "So is the Mill Hill Space cowboy going to be asking the trougher in chief (Brian Coleman) out for a drink?".

As the game progressed (my Mork Dancing pal was on the other side), he kept lobbing in comments such as "You know opposites attract" and "He's had a big payrise you know".

Well sorry to disappoint anyone in Barnet who may have been wondering. This is one odd couple who you won't be reading about in your papers anytime soon. I'd rather jump in front of a train

A rather odd coincidence : The cost of auditing Barnet Council

I came across a rather odd coincidence whilst doing some background research for another blog on Barnet Council.  There is a document concerning the fees for auditing Barnet Council on the council website -

It contains the following detail :-

Audit fee Grant Thornton UK LLP  Grant Thornton House
                                                                                                          2010/11       2009/10
Financial statements, including WGA                                                 £210,000     £170,000
Use of Resources/VFM Conclusion [including risk based work]        £205,000     £245,000
Total audit fee                                                                                   £415,000     £415,000

Now I have no idea whatsover a local authority audit should cost. I'm sure this is great value, but there is one question I don't understand. It seems to me rather strange that in 2010-11 the price of the Financial statement goes up by exactly the same amount as the cost of resources goues down, giving a magic figure of £415,000. Was this just a remarkable coincidence? I do wonder whether the supplier has been challenged rigorously enough on price. It is rather clear from this document,  reading the "Risks" section that the whole Future Shape program is inherently "risky".

It looks to me as if there is scope within the audit package for a cost challenge. If the financial statements are cheaper this year, why has the cost of the resources increase? I'm sure it's value for money, but it struck me as rather odd. Anyway, as ever Council officials are welcome to leave a message explaining. In my experience, when dealing with vendors within my company, if there are nice little coincidences in quotations such as these, often a little more savings can be found when a cost justification is sought. Then again, it's my money I'm spending. Oh yes, I forgot, Barnet Council's money is mine as well. That's why I thought I'd ask the question.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Independence for Mill Hill

I've been told that Mill Hill is the largest postal district in the Borough of Barnet. Unlike many other parts of the Borough, although wealthy, the ward is marginal, having had a mixture of Lib Dem and Tory councillors over the last 20 years. Basically, unlike wards such as Totteridge, if the Tories put useless lazy pisstakers in Mill Hill they lose. What is it about the "Barnet" bit of Barnet. Villiers, Tambourides, Evangeli to name but a few. Is there any way a postal district can withdraw from a Borough and declare independence?

Intrigue at Barnet Council

Following the masterful performance of twattery at the Chipping Barnet residents forum by Barry Evangeli, I've been receiving reports of even worse behaviour at the Golders Green Forum. Sadly this is not only from the Chairman, Dean Cohen, but also from various council officers. One resident reported a most unfortunate incident where David Howard of the residents association challenged an assertation by another official. Jeff Lustig, Borough Solicitor took exception to this and demanded that David leave the meeting or withdraw his comment. Now the good people of Golders Green took exception to this. Uproar ensued and Jeff Lustig backed down. It strikes me that these people seem to have forgotten that they are PUBLIC SERVANTS. They are employed using our taxes to serve us to the best of their ability.

Now contrary to a big porkie put around by Brian Coleman that I attend every residents forum in the Borough, missing no opportunity to slag him off, I've never actually been to the Chipping Barnet or the Golders Green forum. I have been three times to the Hendon Forum. It is fair to say that I've no issue at all with the Chairman Brian Gordon or his deputy John Hart. They have thus far seemed to me to be even handed and fair. I've not seen any of the displays of stupidity displayed by Dean Cohen or Barry Evangeli. Council officers have behaved themselves pretty well.  The worst display was when former Edgware Tory Councillor Richard Weider tried to stop Vicki Morris from questioning them on future shape. He said "she can't ask this because she works for the council". Cllr Gordon said "She's a resident, there's no reason she shouldn't" and let Vicki proceed. Whilst it made no difference to the implementation of future shape, at least it showed Councillor Gordon has sound judgement as  chair of such a forum.

I asked myself what the difference was between poor chairmen such as Cohen and Evangeli and good ones such as Hart and Gordon. I think the answer may be that the latter first became councillors in an age when it was about public service. They know what they are supposed to be there for. Amongst the private emails I received about the hike in allowances, was one from a Tory councillor. I don't accept his argument, but it gives some idea of the climate in Barnet. He said he fundamentally disagreed with the rise, foresaw the furore and argued against it. He said that the reason he voted to implement it was because had he voted with his conscience, he'd have been completely marginalised and unable to have any input whatsoever for future discussions. He also felt that it would allow a certain useless lackey(my description) to exploit the opportunity for career advancement.

Perhaps the most interesting comment was the one explaining the reason for the rise now. "Brian wanted the business out of the way before he takes over" and the prediction of a new leader before the end of the year. I don't necessarily think this is a done deal. I suspect that the succession will be fought between Coleman and Harper, although it is less than clear whether Harper has the cojones for a tough battle. Coleman is pretty ruthless and will make it clear that it will be the end of Harper if he wins (a la Bulmer).  Interesting times

Saturday 24 July 2010

The Barnet Eye Saturday Blog round-up

There have been some excellent blogs this week. Whilst I recommend all of the blogs I link to in the sidebar, there are a few I'd especially like to mention. Firstly there is a great blog on the Hendon Times by former Editor, Dennis Signy. Dennis recalls the days when councillors didn't get allowances and purely stood out of public duty. He also applauds the Times campaign against allowances, as well as describing a terrifying experience on Highwood Hill :-

I had my own terrifying moment on Highwood Hill a few years ago. I was walking down the Hill on a Saturday morning. As I walked down, I noticed Lord Levy's entourage turn the corner and start walking up - This was when  he was part of the Blair government and received a full escort of armed outriders. As he walked up, a young lad of muslim appearance jogged past me. He had his ipod on and a backpack on. Oblivious to the world, he jogged towards the Levy posse. The bodyguards clocked the threat and took immediate evasive action. For a horrible moment, their body language indicated that they were about to shoot the poor lad, who probably hadn't a clue who or what he was running into. Luckily they seemed to realise that he was probably just late for a train and he jogged past unimpeded, but in the light of the John Charles Menezes incident, it really worried me for a while. As I pondered the incident, I wondered what I might have told a post mortem.

If you want a laugh, check out this post on Daniel Hoffman-Gill's blog. It's a selection of defaced Conservative election posters.

There is also an interesting bit of news on the Adam and Eve pub blog. They've found the original pub sign (the one with the naked pair on). As a kid at St Vincents, we used to take great delight in peeking at the naked lady, especially when Father Corkery informed us it was a sin ! (actually I made that last bit up, but I'm sure he would have, if he'd thought about it).

Another blog which made me laugh was the "Mog in a Box" by Ainelivia, who is a regular commenter. Given our old moggy Norman (a Short haired British Blue) passed away a few years ago, I'd forgotten who moggies like to park themselves in boxes. It made me feel a bit nostalgic. We've switched to the doggy world, although I've been considering buying a Pot Bellied pig and calling it Brian. I love the way moggies have the "I'm really comfy" look when they find such a place.

Next off for a vist across the pond to Roger Owen Green. Following my bit on Corporal punishment this week at Finchley, he writes a great blog on spanking (as a punishment for children). Roger gives his reasons for opposing it. My views on corporal punishment have changed. When I first had children, I thought it was Ok & used to smack them when they were naughty. One day I sat down and thought about it. I realised that smacking as a punishment of small children is only OK if as a parent you lack the wit and intelligence to resolve the issue any other way. Now I'm against it. There are many reasons, but Roger sums many up quite nicely here.

Enjoy the weekend

Barnet Council Porky Watch : The Brian Coleman 100 hour week

Earlier in the week we investigated Barnet Trougher in chief Brian Coleman and his claim that he worked 100 hours a week and only had three days off since Christmas (presumably New Years Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday). We looked at what work he actually does for Barnet and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. We found that he's a member of a few committees which meet once a month and he meets the fire commisioner once every two weeks. I promised to return and investigate in more detail what he does for the GLA where he gets over £50,000. The Leader of the GLA Tories is Roger Evans. He's one of my favourite Tories in that he writes a good blog and generally appears to be a decent chap. I posted a question about whether Brian Coleman was working too hard for the GLA and whether this was the reason for Brian Colemans huge workload. Roger rather helpfully posted this response  :-
The recent SSRB review concluded that members work an average full time week, which is less than 100 hours of course. I assume Brian was including his work on the Fire Authority and Barnet Council to reach his total. The SSRB recommended no increases for AMs - a recommendation which we have implemented - so I do not believe we are 'underpaid'.
Now unless anyone corrects me, this means Roger Evans is saying GLA members work roughly 35 hours and that the £53,439 is a reasonable amount (ie they are not "overpaid").  We've quite clearly seen from Brian Colemans workload that both the LFEPA role and the Barnet Council role cannot possibly account for the "missing" 65 hours a week he is claiming. I also asked Roger was a slave driver and possibly working Brian far too hard. Roger helpfully added :-
I do not see myself as a 'slave driver' and my team would not recognise such a description.
You can see the full details of the assembly's grilling of Boris, my question and Rogers answer here - .Interestingly Brian and Roger both get paid the same amount by the GLA, even though Roger is a member of five committees whilst Brian is only on three (one of which is the LFEPA which he gets another huge allowance for).

  • Member of the Business Management and Administration Committee
  • Member of the Confirmation Hearings Committee
  • Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA)
As we mentioned earlier, Brian Colemans last press release on the GLA site was on 17th June.I've made discreet enquiries about some of Brian Colemans work for Barnet in the last year. During his period as Mayor he was one of the laziest mayors in London, with his Deputy doing almost 1/3rd of his engagements (according to the press - ). In the first six months of his Mayorship, he performed less than one Mayoral duty a day (123 in total). Compare that to the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Omar Faruque Ansari,who performed 275 duties.

Roger Evans comment gives the game away regarding Brian Coleman and his "100 hours a week". At the GLA he tells them he's busy in Barnet and LFEPA, in Barnet he says he's busy at the GLA and LFEPA and at the LFEPA he says he's busy at the GLA and Barnet.

So the question for us all having reviewed the evidence is this. Was Brian Coleman telling porkies when he said he worked 100 hours a week. I helpfully added the illustration of Brian Coleman hard at work at the GLA (pictiure Courtesy of the Tory Troll blog). I rest the case for the prosecution. Brian Coleman is more than welcome to write a guest blog here to explain why "He's worth it". I could do with a good laugh !!!!!!

Friday 23 July 2010

Barnet Eye war on Spongers and Parasites : Barnet Times Joins the Crusade

A week after this blog started the war on Spongers and Parasites at Barnet Council who award themselves huge payrises whilst urging restraint on everyone else, we are pleased to welcome our local paper, the Barnet Times to the Crusade. They have started a petetion. I urge you to sign this (as well as the Residents Association petition).

I am glad that the Barnet Times has joined the Daily Express, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard, Private Eye, BBC News and ITV in highlighting the Greedy Tendency which has taken over Barnet.

Details of their petition is here  :-

The residents petition is here :-

I urge all Barnet Residents to sign both of these petitions. Whatever you think of the wording, the people who started them or the local paper, just sign. It is too important an issue to split hairs on. We will only win this war if we send a message so strong that no one can ignore it. Bang on your neighbours doors, get them to sign it as well.

I truly believe we are winning this war, the ever increasing number of hits on the blog tells me this. If we win, all that will happen to my blog is I'll go back to writing about three legged dogs playing football. The Councillors at the top of Barnet Council will however know that they can't take the piss any more. Email all your friends, stick the petitions on facebook. If only 25 people sign them and you ain't one, the you are a troughers accomplice and you wouldn't want to be one of them, would you?

Councillor Barry Evangeli in the spotlight

They say that those who live by the sword die by the sword. We are judged by our actions. One of the new crop of Tory Councillors has come into the spotlight this week. His name is Barry Evangeli.  I think that it is only fair that we residents of Barnet know what sort of a man Mr Evangeli is. This blog already detailed his brown nosing of Councillor Brian Coleman to get himself nominated as a Councillor. Mr Evangeli has been a councillor since May 7th. In that time he's done two things which tell us what sort of a man he is.

Firstly the Barnet Council Senior Tories proposed a huge payrise for Cabinet members at a time of austerity and belt tightening in the country. Tory Cabinet Minister Grant Shapps urged restraint. What did Barry Evangeli do? He had a conversation, I can only guess, given what happened that it went something like this. He said "whats in it for me". The powers that be in the local Tories said "Kate Salinger is threatening to abstain. If she does, we are going to sack her from her chair post of the Chipping Barnet Residents forum. If we sack her, there is a nice fat allowance going for a new chair. She says that her principles prevent her from voting for a rise as we urge restraint on council workers. We are looking for someone with rather "more flexible" principles". Barry Evangeli said "Well count me in!" and copped a nice little allowance.

The only trouble is that a week later he had to face the public in the residents forum. The public wanted to know what the justification for the rise was. Mr Evangeli, who clealry had a vested interest should have said "I'm afraid to declare I have a vested interest in this, so I have to step back from the debate". Sadly he chose an altogether different approach. He announced (contrary to the rules of the forum) that he wouldn't take the question. Even worse, he then gave everyone a long and boring lecture justifying the rise.

So what sort of a councillor do we think Mr Evangeli is? A hard working public servant who is in it for the good of the people of Barnet or a greedy parasite who is on the make and prepared to walk over all and sundry in his quest for easy money? I have an opinion, I'm sure you have one too.

Nick Griffin - Pass The Bucket

Nick Griffin has been doing what he's best at again. Being an arse and reminding us why nobody should vote BNP. Sadly protocol dictates that her Maj had to invite him to her garden party. Oh deep joy for her. Luckily, if there is one thing you can rely on Griffin for, it his ability to generate a cock up. For the leader of a party supposedly dedicated to preserving British values, he didn't realise that it's not the done thing to make political capital out of the Queen. Whilst most seven year old kids know that you have to behave for our dear old monarch, Griffin couldn't help himself. Luckily for her Maj, his stupidity gave her the perfect excuse to ban him. Little lesson for Mr Gormless Griffin. If you take the piss out of the Monarchy when you get an invite there is only one loser- you.

It is a delicious irony that the BNP only has MP's in one place. The European parliament, which is part of an institution they hate (The EU). Even better they have to sit surrounded by people they hate (foreigners), most of whom happen to be even more bonkers than them  (they sit with the Right Wing Ubernutters). I wonder if when little Nicky was a boy, building play gas chambers out of old cardbord boxes, he ever thought he'd end up spending all day sitting in Brussels talking to Polish Fascists? What a pinnacle of a career, he must feel so happy every morning when he wakes up.

Thursday 22 July 2010

Barnet Eye war on Spongers and Parasites : Make yourself heard

Wipe the smug grins from their faces !

If you do one thing today .....

Please sing this petition to tell the greedy Tory Councillors of Barnet what you think of them awarding themselves a huge payrise.

All you need to do is enter your name and email.  I urge everyone of every political persuasion in Barnet to sign up.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

I'm against it !!!!

Do you suppose that the Ramones were secretly from Barnet ??

                         "All I care about is me!"

The Ramones
"I'm Against It"

Well I'm against it
I'm against it
Well I'm against it
I'm against it
I don't like politics
I don't like communists
I don't like games and fun
I don't like anyone
And I'm against...
I don't like Jesus freaks
I don't like circus geeks
I don't like summer and spring
I don't like anything
I don't like sex and drugs
I don't like waterbugs
I don't care about poverty
All I care about is me
And I'm against...
I don't like playing ping pong
I don't like the Viet Cong
I don't like Burger King
I don't like anything
And I'm against...
Well I'm against it
I'm against it

Barnet Eye war on Spongers and Parasites : Villiers approves of troughing

There are three Tory MP's in Barnet. Two have one house and one has two. We used to have three MP's who all had two houses, but one got slung out and the other retired. All three of them claimed a second home allowance. Theresa Villiers is the one who is still there. Despite the fact that she can get from Barnet to Westminster in less than an hour by public transport, she thinks she needs a second home subsidised by the Taxman nearer Parliament. To their credit the new Tory MP's Freer and Offord, have said that they are quite happy commuting (see boys, I do say nice things about you when you deserve it).

It seems that wheras Freer and Offord are preapred to criticise the troughing in Barnet Council, Theresa Villiers MP, the one with the second home, thinks it's fine. She thinks its up to councillors to decide there own pay and if they decide to take the piss, that's fine.

Her statement :-

This issue is for the Council to determine. As an MP, I have no say in decisions made by elected councillors on pay and allowances. This is a matter for local, not national, decision-making.
 Lets get this right then. A minister of government (yes she is amazingly enough) thinks local Councillors can do what they like? There is a rumour that this statement was made because Lynne Hillan and Brian Coleman reminded her that they said nothing about her troughing. That's how it works. You turn a blind eye to my troughing and I'll turn a blind eye to yours.

She is a disgrace and not fit to be a part of the government. In fact the only job she's fit for is putting out the pigswill for the porkers to feast on. Let me remind you Tessie, that you are an MP, you are meant to show a bit of Leadership. You have failed the voters of Barnet

Another Barnet Council Cock up

It looks like the executives and councillors in Barnet Council are too busy negotiating huge pay rises to actually bother collecting the Tax from those who can't be bothered paying it. It is sad to report that the Sheltered housing warden service could have been funded 18 times over if they had. The money is roughly £6 million from Council Tax and £3 million from Business rates.

Barnet is fifth worst Borough in London. Why does this not surprise me. Yesterday we reported that Brian Coleman claims he works 100 hours a week.  If him and his colleagues actually devoted their time in the office to doing something useful rather than figuring out new ways to siphon off our cash, we'd all be better off. This money would fund the rebuilding of 3 of the boroughs schools

Barnet Eye war on Spongers and Parasites : Barnets biggest Brown Noser gets his payoff

I must confess I haven't meticulously studied the names of all of the new intake of Tory Councillors. That is why today when I read the report in the Barnet Bugle of how Barnet Councillor Barry Evangeli (one of the new boys) shut down debate at the Chipping Barnet residents forum, I was surprised to hear that he was a councillor. It seems Mr Evangeli wouldn't let residents speak (rather oddly for a residents forum) about the allowance rise but was quite happy to bore them with his long and dull self justification.

Now the Barnet Eye had heard of Mr Evangeli before. We have a little black book where we meticulously log the details of everyone who we think has "a contribution" to make in Barnet. Mr Evangeli's entry in our little black book is that of Councillor Brian Colemans leading "supporter" in the press. Here is one example of his stout defence of Brian Coleman

Here is what he had to say :-

I applaud his frank speaking

12:28pm Friday 6th November 2009
I applaud Brian Coleman for speaking his mind.
I was present in the public gallery recently during Mayor’s Question Time when Labour Assembly Member John Biggs was continuously berating the mayor.
His constant interruptions were both irritating and obnoxious and nothing short of a feeble attempt at political point-scoring.
Perhaps Brian Coleman’s description of him as an “odious toad” should be regarded as a compliment, as I would have described him more akin to something a little more primate.

Barry Evangeli, Monkville Avenue, Golders Green
So there you go. Mr Evangeli's idea of a good day out is to go and watch Brian Coleman in action. It seems that if you want to be a Tory Councillor, having a rather brown nose is a good way to get through the selection panel. Anyway congratulations to Mr Evangeli on his election as a Councillor. It seems he has a bright future in the Barnet Tories (at least as long as his hero Brian Coleman has anything to do with it).

As Mr Evangeli seems to applaud plain speaking, I have some for his benefit. I hope he likes it.

Councillor Barry Evangeli, you are a complete disgrace. The sooner the people of Barnet are rid of you and your ilk the better. You've only been in the job five minutes yet you are already in the trough up to your neck. The purpose of Residents forums is to listen to the residents rather than to bore them to death. Do us all a favour and crawl back into whichever hole you emerged from. You clearly are not cut out for public service.

Broken Barnet - Pure Genius

I hereby nominate Mrs Angry for the graphic of the year for her take on the famous picture of the Krays a la Barnet Council. I am also eternally grateful to her for informing us that the Krays used to live in Finchley. My Dad once told me that Jack "The Hat" Mc Vitie's former bodyguard used to run a nightclub in Edgware. I bet you didn't realise that Barnet was such a hotbed of gangsta culture (or maybe, just maybe you did). Although there have been some fine graphics, I truly believe Mrs Angry has produced the finest yet

A personal message to david Cameron regarding troughing councillors

Dear Prime Minister,

During the course of the General Election campaign, you twice visited the London Borough of Barnet to campaign for a Conservative victory in the Council and General Elections. At the time you thought Barnet was important enough to warrant these two visits. The people of Barnet voted for you and returned a Conservative Council and three Conservative MP's.

One of the Councillors who so warmly greeted you has done his level best to undermine your government with an unprecedented attack on one of your ministers, Grant Shapps. The rest of the Conservative Councillors (with the exception of Kate Salinger) ignored your request for restraint.

You are the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Conservative Party. Show the people of Barnet who had faith in you that the faith was justified. The local Conservatives failed to mention the allowance rise in their manifesto or on the doorstep. They have no mandate for the increase. Do you think people would have felt the same way if they had?

You have taken great strides in the fight to cleanup Parliament, the next step is local Councils. Firm action against the troughing at Barnet will send a powerful message which will resonate across the country and save millions of pounds.

We are relying on you to make an example of our troughing Councillors. If you read the previous post on this blog you will see just how shallow the claims of the leader of the troughers is.


Rog T

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Barnet Eye war on Spongers and parasites : A Coleman Porky prime cut?

Poor old Brian Coleman. The stress of all the troughing must be getting to him. He claimed in todays Evening Standard that he works 100 hours a week and he has only had three days off since Xmas (presumably New Years Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday).

I suppose, the nub of the matter is what constitutes work. Lets see what he does for Barnet :-

He's on the following committees :- 

Annual Council - Member -  Next Meeting May 2011 (annual)
Cabinet - Member - Once a month
Cabinet Resources Committee - Member - Once a MonthChipping Barnet Area Environment Sub-Committee - Substitute - Once a MonthChipping Barnet Area Planning Sub-Committee - Substitute - Once a monthCouncil - Member - Next meeting November 02 (approx every 2 months)

Then there is his ward surgery (which presumably he shares with the other two councillors) :-
Third Saturday of the month 10.30am-12noon. Barnet House, 1255 High Road, N20.

Then there's the the reports he has to read as Cabinet member for Environment (3 since April as far as I can see) :-

You get the idea. Given that his former boss Mike Freer once said that the Council officers do all the work, there isn't a 100 hours a weeks worth of work here, is there?

Then there's his work for the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (he's chairman).

Forthcoming Meetings

  • 16 September 2010
  • 18 November 2010
  • 27 January 2011
  • 24 March 2011
  • 23 June 2011 - Annual meeting
That's what I call a highly taxing schedule of work.
It seems he attends a few other committees - check if you like -

Here's his full list -

There's the appointments committee (last meeting in February)
There's the Finance and Procurement Committee (four meetings a year?)
The urgency committee (last meeting in March)

And here's some idea of what he was up to (his expenses) for Feb & March when he was "working 100 hours a week without a day off)

Members' car mileage - Meeting with Fire Commissioner and Mayor at City Hall
Congestion Charge - Meeting with Fire Commissioner and Mayor at City Hall
Members' car mileage - LFB Long Service Awards at Southwark Training Centre
Congestion Charge - LFB Long Service Awards at Southwark Training Centre
Members' car mileage - Meeting with John Barton, General Sec of RFU at City Hall
Congestion Charge - Meeting with John Barton, General Sec of RFU at City Hall
Members' car mileage - Meeting with Fire Commissioner at Union Street
Congestion Charge - Meeting with Fire Commissioner at Union Street
Other  Expenses
Subsistence - Dinner at Hilton Hotel, Manchester
Members' car mileage - Lunch with John Ransford, CE, LGA
Congestion Charge - Lunch with John Ransford, CE, LGA
Members' car mileage - Opening of Harold Hill Fire Station
Members' car mileage - Meeting with Fire Commissioner at Union Street
Congestion Charge - Meeting with Fire Commissioner at Union Street

And what about the GLA - Well this is approx half his income at Barnet and LFEPA. Do you see 50 hours a week here? I will have a look at what he's up to for the other 50 hours at the GLA later in the week. In the meantime you may be interested to know that his boss at The GLA, Roger Evans says on his blog today that they are all off now till September, which gives you some idea of the heavy work load there.

All I can say is this, Mr Coleman claims that he works 100 hours a week look a tad dodgy to me based on this. A few sporadic committee meetings, a few dinners and a meeting every two weeks with the Fire Commissioner. We'll look at his "work" for the GLA later this week. You can check his profile here. You would expect a flagrant self publicist like Coleman to tell us all about his work in his press releases. According to his profile the last one was over a month ago

For a man who works so hard, he seems to have a lot of spare time for outside interests :-

  • Representative on the Queen Elizabeth Grammar Schools Endowment Fund
  • Ravenscroft School Charitable Trust
  • Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education
  •  1 Friern Park Management Committee (Chairman)
  •  Darlands Lake Management Committee (Chairman)
  •  Representative on Totteridge Manor Association
  •  Vice President of Totteridge Residents’ Association
  • (Parliamentary) Committee of the Friends of Cyprus
  •  Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  •  Freeman of the City of London
  •  Member of the Guild of Freeman
  •  Member of Barnet Rotary Club
  •  Member of Finchley Methodist Church
  •  President of Edgware & Hendon District Scouts
  •  Old Elizabethans (QE Boys Old Boys Association)
  •  Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association – Associate Member
  •  Liveryman of Worshipful Company of Farriers
  • Patron of the Larches Trust, Larches House, No.1, Rectory Lane, Edgware Middlesex, HA8 7LF 
So does Brian Coleman really work 100 hours a week for Barnet, The GLA and LFEPA for his £114,000 a year? I'll let you decide. I'm off to be sick