Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New decade to all of the readers of the Barnet Eye

I'd like to wish all readers of the Barnet Eye a very happy new decade! I sincerely hope it is better than the last one. Who will fill the gaps left by Bowie, Dr John and Amy? When will austerity end? Ten years is a very long time for a financial squeeze to last. I do wonder whether David Cameron would have been elected in 2010 if he'd told us his policies would mean we'd still be stuck in austerity ten years later? I was actually quite positive about the future then. I'm less so now, but I hope Boris proves me wrong. Lets look at some of the changes we can expect.


Hopefully Crossrail AKA The Elizabeth Line, will open next year. I am looking forward to this. It will make getting from Mill Hill to Heathrow and Docklands far easier, with a quick interchange at Farringdon. If it is built and goes to plan, we'll also have HS2 from Euston to Birmingham. There's also a good chance that we'll be able to take a train from Hendon to Hounslow on the West London Orbital Railway. Another major change will be the third runway at Heathrow. Whilst air travel is becoming unfashionable due to Climate change, it seems unlikely that this will prevent this huge development. In Mill Hill, by the end of the decade we will hopefully see step free access at both Mill Hill East and Mill Hill Broadway. It is my hope that the Northern Line Service to Mill Hill East will be improved. I would love to see it extended to Saracens on Page Street, using the largely intact trackbed.


Mill Hill is set to see a number of massive schemes change forever the nature of our town. Pentavia Retail Park, The NIMR site, The JW site and Millbrook park will add thousands of new residents to our community. Do we have the infrastructure to support this? Millway medical practice is full up. Many roads are completely clogged up at rush hour and the trains and tubes are packed to bursting. I guess we can only hope the new residents are healthy and work from home. I hope that the Green Belt survives this.

The Economy.

Despite Boris's claims that he will "Get Brexit done", no one really knows what this will mean. Barnet is a strongly remain voting area. As many people work in financial and service sectors, the future is anything but clear. I'm sure the UK will find a way through, but I've seen no sane and rational analysis that shows any way that UK will be better off. I just hope and pray that we are spared the worst of what could happen.


What does the new decade hold for those of us that love music? I am more optimistic than I have been for years. The live music scene in London is really on the up. I run a music studio, as many regular readers will know, and we've seen a 20% increase in business this year. The quality of some of the young artists we've seen has been awesome. At the Mill Hill Music Festival and at the recent Barnet Eye awards, we saw two brilliant young female singers. Charlotte wow'd the crowds at The Adam and Eve.

And Cheyenne was amazing at The Midland Hotel

It gives me great hope for the future of music.

High Streets.

I've got to say something about our High Streets and the future. Back in 2009 we published a guest blog detailing the changes in the Broadway between 1958 and 2009. Revisting this shows just how much the High Street has changed. Almost all of the non food related outlets have undergone change.  Is the future of the High Street to be food outlets, charity shops and bookies? It seems to me that High Streets that have a high percentage of independent traders are more interesting and successful. I really hope that both the Council and the Government recognise this and start levelling the playing field and making it easier for independent traders to thrive.  Of course there are some who like charity shops and Pizza chains, but a more interesting mix would make our High Streets worth visiting.


The Teenies has been a decade of tectonic shifts in the world of football. At the start of the decade Manchester United were the dominant force in the Premiership. Now they are a million miles away from both Manchester City and Liverpool in terms of both performance and public perception. City completed a unique domestic treble last season and Liverpool were champions of Europe. United couldn't even qualify for the Champions League, despite starting the season with one of the worlds most successful managers. Whereas Utd and Chelsea and were the top teams in 2010, Liverpool and City have moved football onto a higher level of performance than ever previously seen.

Locally we've seen the departure of Barnet FC and the rise of Hadley FC, a truly local and family club. If you love football, then I'd really urge you to check out Hadley. They are in with a chance of winning the Essex Senior League, why not be part of the fun. They play at Brickfield Lane, opposite the Gate (not a bad place for a pre match lunch and a pint!).

We need  to support grassroots football at all levels.

I've left this until last, as I am sure everyone is sick of the subject. The teenies has been a bruising decade for those of us who are not Conservatives. There have been high points locally. The ejecting of Brian Coleman from the GLA, the Lib Dems topping the poll in Barnet in the Euro elections, but that is just about it. The Labour Party has chosen to make itself unelectable and the Lib Dems mistakenly sold themselves as a single issue party at the last election. Locally Labour has run the same campaign at the last four elections, with exactly the same result. We won't have another general election for five years, unless Boris's administration implodes in a way beyond comprehension. The opposition parties must learn the lessons of 2019. The lesson is simple. The Conservatives have hads a decade in power by ruthlessly exploiting the divisions of the opposition. Unless you want Conservative administration for ever, then the opposition have to set aside differences and work together. Booting out the racists  and anti semites would be a good first step. It is worth noting that in the combined opposition votes in all Barnet constituencies, were greater than the Conservative winning candidate. We don't have the representation we wanted. We will never have until we have PR. That must be the next battle.

Happy New Decade

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