Elections: Who runs Barnet - You Decide

Residents will be able to cast their vote for their chosen candidates on May 22.

Residents will be able to cast their vote for their chosen candidates on May 22.

First published in News
Last updated
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With just weeks to go before voters rush to the polls to decide who will take the helm at Barnet Borough Council, the Times Series catches up with the main parties to find out what they plan to bring to the borough.

The council is currently made up of 38 Conservatives, 21 Labour, three Liberal Democrats and one Independent – but all of that could change on May 22.

This will be the Tories' first election since the ruling group brought in the controversial One Barnet Programme aimed at outsourcing services in an attempt to save money.

Council leader Councillor Richard Cornelius rejected claims his party has lost touch with the electorate, adding they would “continue the success of the last four years” if they are re-elected.

He said: “We will see the regeneration schemes through. I think these will provide the housing that people need in Barnet.

“We’ll continue to invest in the roads – we’ve repaired an amazing number of potholes but it seems there’s the same number to do again, but we’ll get on and get them done.

“And we will continue to look at everything the council does to see if there’s a better way of delivering it. We’re going to continue to drive down the bureaucratic cost of running the council.”

In some cases, this will mean outsourcing services, but Cllr Cornelius said if services can be done better and more efficiently in-house, then that would be the case.

But Barnet’s Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Jack Cohen slammed the One Barnet Programme, dubbing it a “total disaster” and claiming all services should be kept in-house.

He said: “If we have any influence, our promise is to call the officers in and say ‘how do we get out of this mess’.

“It’s really important that we keep our services local and they’re not taken over by international companies who answer to their shareholders and not to the residents of the borough.”

Cllr Cohen said his party wants to “restore trust” in the council, claiming people have lost faith with the current Tory administration.

He said: “We believe that the way the council’s been run takes no account of what local residents say. We want to bring policies that involve real consultation, real partnership and real discussions with our residents.”

Barnet Labour group leader Councillor Alison Moore agreed that the “trust and confidence” has to be restored in the council to create a “better Barnet for everyone”.

Speaking about her party’s main objectives, she said: “The key things are around restoring fairness and democracy, tackling the cost of living crisis and being generally ambitious for our borough.”

Labour has also pledged to build more council homes, tackle rogue landlords, create more jobs, improve parking, develop more affordable childcare and hold private companies involved in the One Barnet Programme to account.

Cllr Moore said: “In the first instance we’ve got to challenge and hold Capita to account for the promises they’ve made to deliver good value services.

“If it’s not working that’s a different issue, but it would have to be a pretty catastrophic failure to pull out of that contract without it costing the tax payer millions of pounds.”

Speaking about the possibility of continuing with One Barnet, Cllr Moore said Labour would look at making improvements in-house first and foremost before considering sharing services with other boroughs or partner organisations, using the private sector as a last resource.

Meanwhile, Andrew Newby, chairman of Barnet Greens and a candidate for Coppetts ward, pledged his party would continue to oppose housing overdevelopment, support recycling and maintain the borough’s parks and green spaces.

The Greens are also keen to use the Sustainable Communities Act to help preserve Barnet’s assets and develop new ones, as well as introduce 20mph speed limits in all residential and shopping streets, and bring privatised services back in-house.

Mr Newby said: “The 20mph scheme would decrease accidents, encourage people to use their neighbourhood shops and encourage children to walk or cycle to school.”

And speaking on behalf of the borough’s UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidates, Barnet’s UKIP chairman Chris Apostolou said they are also against the One Barnet Programme.

He added: “We’d always go for local referendums on big issues and we want to protect overdevelopment in the area.

“If the population is booming we have to build somewhere, although we won’t allow building on the greenbelt. I think it’s best to spend money on redeveloping run-down estates.

“The ultimate way to solve the housing crisis is to stop the London population exploding. We would prioritise people who have been living in the area the longest, and so for example, have a five year rule when giving out council housing.

“And the Tories are making property development expensive by following carbon rules and regulations, but you could build housing cheaper without this.”

The Conservative Party has 63 candidates nominated for the elections, Labour and the Liberal Democrats also have 63 candidates each, while the Green Party has 49 and UKIP has nine. There are also three Independent candidates and two who are not affiliated to any party.

Comments (12)

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10:58pm Wed 7 May 14

alasdairhill says...

There is an error in your final paragraph; we have a full slate of Liberal Democrat candidates in all wards; 63 in total.

http://barnetlibdems
.org.uk/en/document
There is an error in your final paragraph; we have a full slate of Liberal Democrat candidates in all wards; 63 in total. http://barnetlibdems .org.uk/en/document alasdairhill
  • Score: 1

11:41pm Wed 7 May 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

It doesn't matter how many candidates you are putting up Mr Hill - the LibDems are facing an almost total wipeout at this election. Jack Cohen will likely be the only one elected.

Alison Moore will be deposed as Leader of the Labour Group, even if Labour win a majority. In fact, especially if Labour win a majority.

The only seat of interest will be Totteridge. Will Brian Coleman be returned to office or will the electorate finally give him the order of the boot? Only three weeks until we know the answer.
It doesn't matter how many candidates you are putting up Mr Hill - the LibDems are facing an almost total wipeout at this election. Jack Cohen will likely be the only one elected. Alison Moore will be deposed as Leader of the Labour Group, even if Labour win a majority. In fact, especially if Labour win a majority. The only seat of interest will be Totteridge. Will Brian Coleman be returned to office or will the electorate finally give him the order of the boot? Only three weeks until we know the answer. Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: 1

12:01am Thu 8 May 14

nlygo says...

two weeks.
two weeks. nlygo
  • Score: 0

12:58am Thu 8 May 14

Don't Call Me Dave says...

I stand corrected nlygo. It is indeed only two weeks until the next election, not three. If only the LibDems didn't break their election pledges on education, I might be able to go back to school and learn to count!
I stand corrected nlygo. It is indeed only two weeks until the next election, not three. If only the LibDems didn't break their election pledges on education, I might be able to go back to school and learn to count! Don't Call Me Dave
  • Score: 0

6:44am Thu 8 May 14

alasdairhill says...

Or maybe you would benefit from the millions of pounds injected into primary and secondary education through the pupil premium? Or perhaps you would be able to get finance to study part time; something you couldn't do under Labour?
Or maybe you would benefit from the millions of pounds injected into primary and secondary education through the pupil premium? Or perhaps you would be able to get finance to study part time; something you couldn't do under Labour? alasdairhill
  • Score: 0

6:45am Thu 8 May 14

Mr. Datchery says...

Don't Call Me Dave wrote:
It doesn't matter how many candidates you are putting up Mr Hill - the LibDems are facing an almost total wipeout at this election. Jack Cohen will likely be the only one elected.

Alison Moore will be deposed as Leader of the Labour Group, even if Labour win a majority. In fact, especially if Labour win a majority.

The only seat of interest will be Totteridge. Will Brian Coleman be returned to office or will the electorate finally give him the order of the boot? Only three weeks until we know the answer.
I have often voted for the candidate rather than the party in local elections but this time I think there is a bigger issue and that is to oust the Tories if possible as yet again they have proved that a Tory is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
However I am not 100% confident of a Tory defeat as, in spite of all that has happened, there always remains a sizeable number of people who, as I once heard it described, are more likely to become cannibals than vote anything other than Tory.
[quote][p][bold]Don't Call Me Dave[/bold] wrote: It doesn't matter how many candidates you are putting up Mr Hill - the LibDems are facing an almost total wipeout at this election. Jack Cohen will likely be the only one elected. Alison Moore will be deposed as Leader of the Labour Group, even if Labour win a majority. In fact, especially if Labour win a majority. The only seat of interest will be Totteridge. Will Brian Coleman be returned to office or will the electorate finally give him the order of the boot? Only three weeks until we know the answer.[/p][/quote]I have often voted for the candidate rather than the party in local elections but this time I think there is a bigger issue and that is to oust the Tories if possible as yet again they have proved that a Tory is a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. However I am not 100% confident of a Tory defeat as, in spite of all that has happened, there always remains a sizeable number of people who, as I once heard it described, are more likely to become cannibals than vote anything other than Tory. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 1

8:47am Thu 8 May 14

DuncanMacdonald says...

As Alasdair points out you have the number of Lib Dem candidates wrong on both the website and the printed version. It would be nice if you managed to get the basic facts right.
As Alasdair points out you have the number of Lib Dem candidates wrong on both the website and the printed version. It would be nice if you managed to get the basic facts right. DuncanMacdonald
  • Score: 1

8:35pm Thu 8 May 14

Neville Longbottom says...

I won't be rushing out to vote.
I won't be rushing out to vote. Neville Longbottom
  • Score: -4

6:34pm Tue 13 May 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

Neville Longbottom wrote:
I won't be rushing out to vote.
That's the best news I've heard in a while.
[quote][p][bold]Neville Longbottom[/bold] wrote: I won't be rushing out to vote.[/p][/quote]That's the best news I've heard in a while. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 1

11:13pm Tue 13 May 14

Neville Longbottom says...

You need to rush out straight away then. And don't go back in until you have had your fill, of all you have been missing out on - out there.
You need to rush out straight away then. And don't go back in until you have had your fill, of all you have been missing out on - out there. Neville Longbottom
  • Score: -2

8:55am Wed 14 May 14

Edgar de Jarnac says...

Don't Call Me Dave is entitled to his/her bigoted opinion on the LibDem's prospects in the forthcoming election, But his/her previous contributions to this website suggest that anything he/she says is wortthless.

The LibDems nationally may have suffered from their disastrous involvement in a coalition with the Tories, but at the local level they still have lot to offer. I, for one, have already given my Mill Hill postal vote to the LibDem candidates.
Don't Call Me Dave is entitled to his/her bigoted opinion on the LibDem's prospects in the forthcoming election, But his/her previous contributions to this website suggest that anything he/she says is wortthless. The LibDems nationally may have suffered from their disastrous involvement in a coalition with the Tories, but at the local level they still have lot to offer. I, for one, have already given my Mill Hill postal vote to the LibDem candidates. Edgar de Jarnac
  • Score: 0

1:38pm Wed 14 May 14

Neville Longbottom says...

Why do you have to live in Mill Hill, I actually liked that area. But now... Not so much.
Why do you have to live in Mill Hill, I actually liked that area. But now... Not so much. Neville Longbottom
  • Score: -1

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