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Not A Good Use of Council Resources
I have not needed to attend any meeting in the past couple of weeks. This does not mean I have not been out and about. This is the time of year for garden fetes and street parties.
So it has been great to get along to many such events and support local people and to listen to what they have to say.
This is why I am an avid supporter of the Residents’ Forum. I was looking forward to the local Finchley and Golders Green Forum on Monday evening.
It had been well trailed that residents would be there to quiz the Administration about the vote to increase Cabinet Members’ allowances.
Just a pity that not one member of the Cabinet could bother themselves to turn up. So it was left, unfairly in my view for the Officers to take the flak.
The Chair of the Forum sent his deputy to over see proceedings. Actually the vice chair was so good that it prompted one wag in the audience to propose that the real chair should be paid an additional allowance to stay way. Is that a bit unfair? It did bring the house down though.
Local bloggers were out in force. The editor of Barnet Bugle or is that their Chief reporter joined in the merriment as question after question were fired at the top table.
What did we learn, well the Tory chairing the meeting is in awe of the Conservative Councillor who abstained in the vote and was promptly sacked from all her committee posts. He described her as a “Heroine”. I am not sure whether by this he meant a brave woman or a female protagonist.
Judging by the reaction of the audience I don’t think they were impressed by any of the answers. We were brought back down to earth by a resident who wanted something done about her local allotment in Child Hill.
She had been trying in vain to persuade the Council to make essential repairs. She had been told that the Council intends to wash its hand of responsibility and hand over the running costs to the allotment holders. She wondered if this is a cynical ploy to avoid responsibility and pass the buck. The council had no money came a response from the top table. Cue for uproar and we were once again back to Councillors Allowances.
And then when a local luminary threatened to go through the Brent Cross Regeneration project “word by word”. it was time to call it a day. But there was still time finally to hear from a resident who had asked why the Council had removed its lists of halls for hire to community groups from its website.
Answer, “Not a good use of Council Resources”. And so the meeting ended in jeering and hoots of laughter.