Posted on 7:19pm Sunday 14th December 2014
I went to a few library drop-in consultations. No one attending while I was there liked any of the options. No surprise: all three of the council’s options threaten the destruction of the library service as we know it. And there’s the point: as we know it. The options have been drawn up by council officers concerned only with figures – an amount to be saved, staff costs and square footage, primarily. They’ve simply played with numbers. It doesn’t seem likely that they have visited all – or many or even any – of the libraries or they would realize that the libraries are different shapes and can’t simply all be reduced to 540 sq ft and leave a space large enough for a library to fulfil its functions and a usable space for a commercial enterprise – even if they could find any business wanting to rent it rather than any of the other empty business properties available.
Posted on 6:10pm Sunday 23rd November 2014
The council’s library consultation document tells you the three options for effectively destroying Barnet’s once-acclaimed library service. And the Tory majority (by one seat) on the council wants you to choose one of these options so that they can escape responsibility for this destruction by claiming they did only what you wanted. It’s all your fault.
Posted on 12:11am Monday 10th November 2014
You don’t need to have special psychic powers to predict the votes in committee and full council meetings without listening to the discussion – indeed, without even being present –because they almost always follow strict party lines. Now that the Conservatives have only a one-seat majority over the combined opposition it is vital for all Tory councillors to attend every council meeting to avoid losing a vote.
Posted on 12:21am Thursday 30th October 2014
On Tuesday night Cllr Brian Salinger used his right as a councillor to speak at the meeting of the Children’s, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding (or is it Sell-out?) Committee, a committee on which he doesn’t sit. He held the attention of everyone in the room, seated well back in his chair at the table, his voice booming to all corners seemingly without the aid of the dreadful Town Hall microphones, his clarity of reasoning as evident as his passion for the cause he was espousing: funding for Moss Hall Nursery.
Posted on 10:14pm Friday 17th October 2014
The meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee (P&RC) meeting on 14 October has been well reported, and Claer Lloyd-Jones’ reports into mistakes in governance in Barnet have been extensively quoted and made available online. Now everyone should know that there are no lawyers in Barnet [Council] and ‘no one who understands local government law in depth’, and that Maryellen Salter, Barnet’s Monitoring Officer and Head of Governance until last week, has no legal qualifications. So far, so bad.
Posted on 12:00am Tuesday 14th October 2014
After many years of deep soul searching and various life experiences, I finally discovered a pathway to becoming the very best version of myself. It is now my pleasure to share some of these very simple tips with you in the hope that they will help you to establish for yourself a pathway to becoming the very best version of YOU!
Posted on 5:33pm Saturday 11th October 2014
Commenting on my previous article, Friern Owl wrote ‘political opponents in the wider public … often go to council meetings intending to confront councillors, including preparing supplementary questions which are carefully designed to trip up the councillors’. That’s an opinion. So here are some facts to help put it in perspective.
Posted on 7:04pm Sunday 5th October 2014
Last month it was revealed that the working groups of Council committees are meeting in secret to discuss how to achieve budget cuts. There was protest from the Labour councillors and others, all of whom want these discussions to be open and transparent. Of course, you say, of course we should know what cuts are being proposed. Cllr Richard Cornelius, on the other hand, is worried that transparency will interfere with efficiency. Defending the restrictions, he said ‘You have to be able to … ask questions that may or may not make you look stupid.'
Posted on 2:33pm Friday 10th October 2014
Barnet parking didn't send their usual reminder to renew residents' parking permits, so both mine and my husband's lapsed unbeknown to us. Yesterday we found my car issued with a parking penalty.
Posted on 2:25pm Saturday 30th August 2014
Our MP, Theresa Villiers, knows it’s true. She’s called it “a once in a lifetime opportunity” (you can see her letter on my personal blog). She’s right – it’s a once-and-for-all power grab by the corporations, being negotiated by civil servants behind closed doors in the context of international law that is not used to being handled in the open, unlike treaties that are negotiated by politicians and diplomats in the public eye.
Posted on 1:10pm Tuesday 15th July 2014
Traffic wardens are allowed to break the rules if they are looking for people to ticket, it has emerged.
Posted on 12:10pm Saturday 5th July 2014
I was fined for parking in the Saracens event day zone, but didn't realise it was an event day.
Posted on 11:22am Wednesday 25th June 2014
“Mob handed” bailiffs clamped a 77-year-old’s car and demanded she fork out hundreds of pounds over claims she failed to pay a parking ticket.
Posted on 11:50am Monday 26th May 2014
I was sitting in my car when a traffic warden popped up from nowhere and took a photo of the tax disc - is this allowed?
Posted on 7:40am Saturday 17th May 2014
The road I parked in has no restrictions on parking but when I returned I found a parking ticket from Barnet Borough Council on my car claiming “27 Parked in a special enforcement area adjacent to a dropped footway”.
Posted on 10:10am Saturday 26th April 2014
'I couldn't move my car due to a migraine - then traffic wardens gave me three parking tickets in a little over 24 hours'
Posted on 2:20pm Thursday 17th April 2014
Many residents have commented on the large number of blue badges they have seen on cars in our high streets and their doubts whether all of these are being used legitimately.
Posted on 3:40pm Tuesday 1st April 2014
An audiologist came to fit Grandma’s new hearing aids. Grandma, 88, lives in Finchley, N2, and residents' parking is all day. So she gave the audiologist one of the old half-day permits.
Posted on 3:20pm Thursday 27th March 2014
The problem I have concerns my father’s "blue badge" parking. He parks with the badge on display in a designated bay in front of his home in Holly Drive, Potters Bar and received a fine when he forgot to replace the badge after a shopping trip.
Posted on 6:40pm Tuesday 18th March 2014
Times Series chief reporter Chris Hewett is training to become a British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) diver.
Posted on 3:55pm Monday 17th March 2014
I recently used two one-hour parking vouchers so that I could park for two hours in North Finchley. I scratched off the correct boxes and put the vouchers side-by-side but still got a parking ticket.
Posted on 4:50pm Tuesday 11th February 2014
An election campaigner often resembles a postperson. Plenty of fresh air and exercise – a good career, no doubt, except for Barnet's post boxes. Yes, I'm about to complain about my potential constituents' front doors.
Posted on 10:48am Monday 27th January 2014
Look up at one end of the public swimming pool in Potters Bar on a Tuesday evening and you’re likely to be greeted by an unusual sight: up to a dozen people floating with air cylinders on their backs, gliding around in the water wearing fins on their feet.
Posted on 11:09am Wednesday 9th May 2012
Wonderbags are insultated bags that last for 12 hours without any electricity making them an economical, and environomentally friendly to use. In addition the company will send a bag to a need family in Africa for every purchase made in the UK>
Posted on 1:29pm Tuesday 31st January 2012
Take a fact, wrap it up with an assertion & claim that it is truth. Otherwise known as historiography. We all swallow facts spun by the (world wide) web namely as well as the papers we read, the TV programmes we watch & the politicians we listen too.
Posted on 9:13pm Friday 23rd December 2011
Racism has dominated the news recently from a racist rant on a tram to John Terry and Luis Suarez. The women at the heart of the 'My Tram Experience' video which went viral was arrested, Suarez has been banned for 8 football matches & Terry is to be charged. Having slaughtered our interpretation of a sacrificial lamb have we simply solved the issue of Xenophobia? The simple answer is no, these flashpoints should be the ignition for a wider & frank discussion about race. It may seem like I'm over-doing the sheep metaphor but I thought a lamb-post would shed some light on this issue.
Posted on 12:00am Tuesday 18th December 2012
I recently spent a few days in Cyprus with family. When I first told friends I was going, they'd assumed I'd be going to the infamous clubbing destination Ayia Napa & I was told "not too get to licked fam" (colloquial London slang for 'don't drink too much'). They then confusingly asked why I was going with family. Fortunately this wasn't an episode of Channel 4's 'Holiday Showdown' & we didn't spend the week in an epileptic-fit inducing sweat bath with dry-humping teens.
Posted on 10:00pm Thursday 6th October 2011
With Chocolate week coming up, this blog is about the magical ingredient that every one loves!
Posted on 3:40pm Wednesday 17th August 2011
In this day and age, it's easy to take having an abundance of food for granted. As Muslims around the world fast for Ramadan, a large part of East Africa are going through endless days of involuntary famine. Unimaginable suffering ensues, to watch your own child starve is a bewildering concept for us. It's easy to forget nations wearily vanishing into lawlessness when the Horn of Africa still has it's incredible beaches and saints and joyous laughter.
Posted on 4:14pm Friday 12th August 2011
'A riot is the language of the unheard.' Martin Luther King provides timeless analysis because there is no justification for the actions of the rioters but there are reasons. Justification and reasoning are two seperate things altogether. You can condemn the violence and realise that the moral impunity of bankers in suits is not so different from kids in hoodies.