Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Barnet Council scraps publishing best value performance indicators

Here's a rather interesting little story from the wonderful world of "Bonkers Barnet". Barnet Council used to be required by law to publish a "best value plan" to show that the council was delivering good services. The law was changed and 2008 was the last year that they were "required" to publish this information. So guess what? They stopped. Now, just for a moment, suppose that the report showed Barnet was doing a really good job delivering performance, would they have stopped publishing it?

The question is "Does Barnet Council deliver best value for taxpayers". Sadly they'd rather not tell us. Check here - - How did they do last time they published it (because they were compelled to)? I'm sure you can guess. Perhaps the most damning indictment was the Road traffic Casualty stats they failed to meet 50% of their own targets. Has this improved? Who knows, they are keeping schtum


Mrs Angry said...

It will be interesting to see how abolishment of the Audit Commission affects the independent financial scrutiny of local authorities. Wonder how it will work int his borough? Oh dear.

M said...

To be fair Rog, most councils stopped then as the BVPIs were superceded by National Indicators. Some councils (including the one I work for, Waltham Forest) still use BVPIs for internal monitoring.

As Mrs Angry points out though, the loss of the AC is going to give councils the chance to bury bad performance/release councils from the bureaucratic shackles of performance and financial monitoring (delete depending on your political persuasion). From what I understand of LB Barnet I think i can guess which one it will be...

baarnett said...

I think we should appreciate Cllr Hillan's motion to July's Council meeting (changing only a few words):

"Council regrets the actions of the previous Barnet ruling party leadership, that lavished money on bureaucracy, put nothing aside for a rainy day, and left the borough with staggering levels of debt that will affect generations to come. [The following sentence on 'Icelandic banks' is unfortunately indistinct.]

"While Council appreciates the Council budget will be tough, Council believes it represents the only opportunity to restore borough finances, and put this local authority back on a sound economic footing.
[There is some mention of 'increasing allowances', but again, this is rather faint.]

"Accordingly, Council welcomes the forthcoming budget from the new borough leadership, and calls on Cabinet to work within the new financial constraints when setting this Council’s budget for next year." [A sentence ending 'So Long, Suckers!' has apparently not survived from earlier drafts.]