Tuesday was “planning night “at the Town Hall. All three planning sub committees met. I learned something new. The three committees rotate between using the Council Chamber, Committee room one, and Committee Room three. Not all on one evening but each four weekly cycle. I do not know which panjandrum thought this one up.

In any event the cards fell right on Tuesday. The Hendon area sub committee was packed out. They had an application for an Eruv in Mill Hill. This took me back many years when the Council considered the first ever application for an Eruv. I recall the hysteria at the time. Opponents were prophesying riots in the streets, the mass destruction of wildlife and any other catastrophe you care to think of. I noted from the Committee papers that the objections this time were all along the same lines.

I supported the Eruv back then even though I was subject threats and all sorts of things; I was even reported to the Ombudsman. Contrary to popular belief Barnet Council did not approve the original application. It was granted on appeal. Now fifteen or so years on I defy any one to (not in the know) to spot where the existing Poles and wires are located. Indeed I tested this out at a site visit we made to Church Lane last week. I asked colleagues if they could point out where the Eruv was. Not one could see it.

By comparison the Finchley and Golders Green Sub Committee attracted little attention. Those of you following my blog from last time will remember the three all draw. The application was deferred for a site visit. Well we all trooped along for a site visit. This revealed in my opinion that there was no demonstrable harm (a nice planning phrase). So this time the plans were approved.

It was Mazeltovs all round for the Chairman who withdrew for a planning application from a kosher caterer. The Chairman declared a personal and prejudicial interest because the applicant had catered for her daughter's wedding and then for her grandson’s bar mitzvah.