Monday 30 June 2014

A new park for North Finchley

I saw this on the Council website and thought you may find it interesting. Shame the Council doesn't take the same attitude to the Pavillion Way open space.

The North Finchley Town Team is celebrating securing £18,000 from the Mayor of London’s Pocket Park fund to transform Percy Road Park into an exciting new green space.
This is on top of the £65,000 Barnet Council awarded the project which was announced in May 2014.
It is expected that the makeover will be completed in March 2015. The new park will feature a new multi-functional play-area, new seating areas and more greenery.
The project will be run by communities from all across North Finchley and Barnet Council will support the delivery of the project.
Councillor Dean Cohen, Chair of the Environment Committee, said: “I am delighted that this project now has the financial means for the team to create a more open and multifunctional space for the whole community to enjoy.
“The council’s Greenspaces team will work closely with The North Finchley Town team to make sure this project goes as smoothly as possible.”

Darren Shea, North Finchley Town Team Chair, said: “We wanted to create a green space for the town that everybody can enjoy. From children playing after school, to local workers eating their lunch and elderly people having a place to relax, we wanted to produce a community space that everyone can have a part to play in.”

The North Finchley Town Team will be launching the project with a publicity event at the Ten Grand Arcade, N12 on Saturday 28th June between 10.00am – 4.00pm. Members of the public will get a chance to share their ideas for the park, for more information on the event please visit

Sunday 29 June 2014

The Tweets of the week in Barnet - 28/6/2014

Without further ado, here's our selection.

1. As recommended by Julia Hines,a tweet of the week from local paper reporter Dan O'Brien
    1. The way this council manages to stick up for decisions even as it steadily backs away from them is something to behold

2.Brent Cross Coalition seem to think that Mrs Angry need some help writing her esteemed blog

. This may be useful for your blog's policy of continuous improvement.

3. A novel analysis of the Barnet Council results by Deputy Leader of the Council, John Thbomas

Barnet bucks the trend

4. Revel captures the big "Richard Cornelius Indecent Proposal apology" moment

5. Some good news from the newly reopened Bohemia

Sunday newbies mixing it up

6. Buszzing Helen has a new admirer !

If you're out in N22 or just passing by, pop into Cafe Buzz. Best poached eggs I've had in a long long time. Thanks

 7 .  Buzzing Helen is none too impressed with her new admirers geography though

your geography finish is N12. Thanks. Pleasure to meet you too

 8. New Labour Councillor Adam Langleben sends the wrong post election message out. Now you are elected the work should start, not end !

Colindale over. First weekend completely off in over three months. Time to rest and let my feet and sun burn heal and begin warm up to 2015.

9. This really should be the tweet of the week! Many thanks to the Burnt Oak Christian Fellowship for saving my week !

only in oak yes that is a dog!!!

 10. And finally from our fave studio !  A classic has been born in Mill Hill
 ·  Jun 23
Recognise this? Africa by Mose Fanfan recorded at Mill Hill Music Complex

Enjoy !

Saturday 28 June 2014

Rog T's Dyslexia blog - Let Down

Ever had that horrible feeling where you a realise that you've been badly let down by people who you trusted and who you believed were on your side? I had this horrible realisation this week. It came in the most mundane of ways. My son was moving bedroom and we were having a tidy up. I came across an old school exercise book from when I was none years old. Have a look at this.

Have a quick read through this. What do you notice. Would you say that it was pretty clear I was dyslexic? It is crystal clear to me. Notice the big red tick at the bottom of the right hand page. This means that someone, a person in a position of trust, being paid a decent salary, thought this was OK. Someone who should have been helping and advising me, bringing me up to standard and trying to educate me, had thought this piece of work was Ok. And because they thought it was OK, I thought it was OK. I was in my thirties when I realised I was dyslexic. No one had bothered to tell me. No one had said "Listen Roger, you have a problem with your reading and writing and this is because you are dyslexic".  So I thought I was just fine. I thought Black was spelt as "Blak" and reflection was spelt "refleck shon"

In short I feel badly let down and actually quite angry. My teachers were remiss and lazy, they clearly couldn't be bothered to do their job. Maybe they thought I was beyond help. Maybe they thought I was just destined to grow up to a life of digging holes in the road, where reading and writing would not be a necessary skill. They didn't tell my parents that I was dyslexic, they told them I was thick and stupid, they told them that I was a dunce and a troublemaker. The truth is that they didn't bother to look for a reason that is so obvious that anyone with or without a professional qualification should see it.

The sad truth is that there are plenty of children up and down the country, aged nine, who will be handing in homework like this and they won't be getting help with their dyslexia. There are even people who refuse to acknowledge that dyslexia is a problem.

I have an old fashioned view of what teachers should do. I believe they should be there to make children better. They should never simply tick sub standard work. If a child needs extra help, they should ensure they get it. They shouldn't assume that the kid is thick and so doesn't warrant care and attention. I am not an educator, I don't know how you get a 9 year old who thinks "orang is a lovly froot" is an acceptable sentence in a homework exercise to do better. What I do know is that it will never improve if it is simply ticked and little Rog gets a pat on the head.

For reasons I don't quite understand, I was able to turn my educational performance around. I got 9 O levels and three A levels. I still have trouble spelling, but by reading things back and using spell checkers etc, I can pretend I am as good at writing as the next guy. I suppose one of the reasons I take such delight in writing this blog and finding I've had over a million page views is because I had years of being told I was useless. Don't get me wrong, I had some good teachers over the years. I had one or two outstanding ones. I would not have an A Level in Physics if it wasn't for the inspirational John Shuttler at FCHS. The sad truth is that he was the exception rather than the norm. I suspect that many of the best teachers take the Kings Shilling and take cushy jobs at private schools teaching well behaved kids. They say that the prisons are full of dyslexics. I read somewhere that over 50% of the prison population have issues reading and writing. If you can't function in society, is it any surprise that you step outside the rules.

I believe that if the issues of dyslexia and other related learning difficulties were properly addressed, our society would be fairer and less violent. In the long run it would save billions. It is clear to me that every child has a right to a proper education. It is also clear to me that for some of the time, I was deprived of. Given that people were paid to do a job, in educating me, I feel like I've been robbed. No one said to my parents "We aren't bothering to teach Roger properly, here have some tax back".

I don't believe anyone should be put in the dustbin. Least of all me. I've been let down but that is history. Surely we all have a responsibilty to make sure no one else is let down in future.

Friday 27 June 2014

Condolences to Councillor John Hart

We wish to pass on our condolences to cllr John Hart on the news of the passing of his wife Irene, after a long illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with John.

How to prepare for a job interview

This week I've been conducting job interviews. Over the curse of the week, I've been taking notes during the interviews and assessing the candidates. I thought it might be instructive to anyone preparing for a job interview to get a few pointers in what you should and shouldn't do, if you want to have the best possible chance of getting the job.

Read the job spec thoroughly and make sure you understand what the brief is. Make sure you understand all the essential requirements necessary for the job and have a few words prepared on all of these subjects. You are likeley to be asked about your experience, so make sure any real life examples you give demonstrate that you have the competences required. It is also worth trying to find out as much as possible about the organisation you are being interviewed by and the department that you are being interviewed for. A quick google of these will stand you in good stead. If the job involves a company or sector that has been in the news, get a bit of undertanding of the issues you are likely to face, so you can talk around these. Another thing which should be common sense is to dress appropriately for the interview.

During the interview.
If you are being interviewed by a large company, they are likely to have formal interview procedures and a standard way of assessing candidates. You are likely to be scored for the questions you answer. This allows similar candidates to be compared. This means it is essential that you listen to the actual questions being asked. Answer the questions that have been asked, not the questions you think they should have asked. If an interviewer asks you a follow up question on a topic, this will often mean that you've not given the details they require and they are trying to help you provide the information required to properly assess you. If you are goimg for  a job which is a promotion, make sure that you don't simply talk about how well you do your current job. That is not what you are being assessed on. If you do work organising for local charities, are a school governor, etc this can show you have management skills, even if you don't have a management role in your day job.

Think about the answers you give. If you are asked to provide positive reasons why you are seeking the role give them. Replying with negatives such as reasons why you want to leave your existing role does not give the interviewer any reasons to score you highly. Don't assume that just having done a job for a long time is reason enough. Provide positive reasons that address the skills required for the new role.

Remember you are likely to be being competetively assessed. Give reasons why you are the best person for the job. This does not mean simply saying how marvellous you are, give examples where other people have been impressed by yur actions. Show how you are proactive. Again if your existing job doesn't provide examples, use outside of work examples. Most of all though, make sure you show you are the best candidate for the job being advertised. If you are being interviewed for an unskilled job, reliability and punctuality are key factors. If you are being interviewed for management, examples of team working are often key and addressing difficult situations. Think about these issues and prepare for hard questions. If you have friends who have had similar interviews find out what they were asked and prepare accordingly.

And most of all - good luck!

Thursday 26 June 2014

Capita in Barnet - A quick question

Just a quickie (we all all like a quickie don't we?)

If Barnet Council have got such a great deal, why are we seeing stories like this?

2 councils cut costs of Capita deals, bringing hundreds of staff in-house

Swindon brings back services in house from Capita

Just asking

Wednesday 25 June 2014

And now for something completely different....

It has been a hard week for us,w hat with England coming home and all manner of other disasters befalling the world at large. So here is a little joke to cheer you up.

A first-grade teacher, Ms Brooks, was having trouble with one of her students. The teacher asked, ‘'Johnny, what's your problem?'’

Johnny answered, 'I'm too smart for the 1st grade.  My sister is in the 3rd grade and I'm smarter than she is!  I think I should be in the 3rd grade too!'

Ms. Brooks had enough.  She took Johnny to the principal's office.

While Johnny waited in the outer office, the teacher explained to the principal what the situation was. The principal told Ms. Brooks he would give the boy a test. If he failed to answer any of his questions he was
to go back to the 1st grade and behave. She agreed.

Johnny was brought in and the conditions were explained to him, and he agreed to take the test.

“What is 3 x 3?”


‘'What is 6 x 6?'’


And so it went with every question the principal thought a 3rd grader should know.

The principal looks at Ms. Brooks and tells her, ‘'I think Johnny can go to the 3rd grade'’

Ms. Brooks says to the principal, “Let me ask him some questions.'’

The principal and Johnny both agreed.

Ms. Brooks
asks, ‘'What does a cow have four of that I have only two of?'’

Johnny, after a moment: ‘'Legs.'’

 Ms. Brooks: ‘'What is in your pants that you have but I do not have?'’

The principal wondered why would she ask such a question!

 Johnny replied: ‘'Pockets.'’

 Ms. Brooks: ‘'What does a dog do that a man steps into?'’


The principal sat forward with his mouth hanging open.

 Ms. Brooks: ‘'What goes in hard and pink then comes out soft and sticky?'’

The principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the answer, Johnny replied, ‘'Bubble gum.'’

 Ms. Brooks: ‘'What does a man do standing up, a woman does sitting down, 
and a dog does on three legs?'’

Johnny: ‘'Shake hands.'’

The principal was trembling.

Ms. Brooks: ‘'What word starts with an 'F' and ends in 'K' that means a lot of heat and excitement?'’


The principal breathed a sigh of relief and told the teacher, ‘'Put Johnny in 
the fifth-grade, I got the last seven questions wrong...'’