Wednesday 25 May 2016

The Barnet Swagger

Local residents gather outside Barnet Town Hall to protest at Council ineptitude last night
Last night a large group of protestors gathered outside the Town Hall to protest at the state of the council. In the last three months the Council has cocked up an election and behaved disgracefully towards disabled people, who had their Freedom Passes cancelled without warning, despite the Deputy Leader of the Council Dan Thomas claiming Freedom Passes were safe with the Tories during his GLA election campaign.

Cllr David Longstaff is Barnet's 52nd mayor
Barnets new Mayor - "resting" actor David Longstaff
Inside grown men were dressing up in fancy dress and dignitaries were tucking into a taxpayer sponsored buffet. In Barnet, they cannot organise elections, but they can organise a buffet. Some visiting dignitaries were clearly bemused with Barnet Councils obsession with pomp. The Deputy Leader of Harlow Council tweeted as follows

So many formalities & silly costumes at Barnet's annual council. Feeling smug Harlow is (relatively) modern & doesn't do any of this nonsense

Most Barnet residents would love to see Barnet Council get its house in order and its priorities right. Is it really appropriate for this huge, self congratulatory back slapping exercise to be conducted when the council is being investigated for electoral incompetence? Barnet has absoluetly nothing to boast about. Councillors should be hanging their heads in shame. Does our new Mayor look embarrassed? He damn well should.

After the meeting I adjourned to the Greyhound with a few residents and Barnet Council employees. One of them told me the most incredible story. He attended a Leadership course recently (after the Election Cock Up). He said the Leader of the Council, Richard Cornelius made a speech to Council employees attending the course. Cornelius told them that Barnet Council is widely admired, and they should all walk with "The Barnet Swagger" as members of an organisation that is widely admired. I have no idea who advised Richard or why he believes that anyone would admire an organisation that can't even organise an election properly or manage to ensure that disabled residents can use their legally entitled Freedom Passes without embarrassment and inconvenience. The two pictures above tell you everything you need to know about Barnet Council. Residents on the outside enraged about incompetence and red faced councillors on the inside slapping themselves on the back, telling each other how marvellous they are as they dress up in fancy robes and white gloves. As we have said on numerous occasions, you couldn't make it up.

(Many thanks to David Longstaff for correcting our typo. Sadly Emma Toal is not Deputy Leader of Barnet Council, but Deputy leader of Harlow Council- Now Corrected)

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