Friday 24 September 2021

Barnet Council - failing and unable to do even the basics

Barnet Council have been committed to the concept of outsourcing since 2006. Back then, Barnet were well run and one of the best councils in the country. They were highly rated by the audit commission, etc. They boasted of how good they were in 2009, even giving staff an extra day off to celebrate being a four star council. Barnet was judged the best council for education by OFSTED. 

Fast forward 15 years where are we? In 2018 a government inspectors report from OFSTED resulted in Barnet having to get another council in to run childrens services for them.

Today I had to look up something on the Barnet Council website, there were not one but two apologies today from the Council for being useless.

We have a council that can't answer it's phones and can't fix the roads. Luckily for Barnet, the Govt abolished the Audit commission, so there is no body to keep an eye on them.  Strangely enough, these apolgies are not on their twitter feed. 

The phone system is now run by Capita and the roads were being fixed by Kier (the construction company not the Labour Leader). I hate to say "I told you so" but this blog warned of the dangers of mass outsourcing from day one. The Council has got rid of so many staff that it simply cannot effectively manage its contractors. A senior Tory member of the adminstration told me this, he asked that I didn't name him. I'd strongly suggest that if he wants to still be running the council this time next year, he pulls his finger out big time and sorts this mess out. He also confided that he thought it was highly unfair when Barnet Labour claimed that the Barnet Tories don't care about the Borough. I'd suggest that if he wants to show that he does care, he gets to work and fixes the structural problems that have allowed this crazy neglect to get to this state. Over the next six months we will see a lot of councillors campaigning. I suggest that you ask them what they are going to do to get Barnet Council to be able to effectively manage its contractors. Next time you are stuck in a traffic jam in Barnet beacuase of badly managed road worksor need to phone up to sort out a problem with your council tax and can't get through, just remember that this situation has come about because Barnet is not managing their contractors properly. 

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