Those at the top are also to blame

4:34pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

The fact Barnet has been heavily criticised for not having a senior lawyer is hardly surprising, given the number of cock-ups; nor is the departure of the non-legally qualified monitoring officer who has become the fall guy — I wonder what her payoff was and whether it has a ‘gagging clause’ attached?

Mayor’s right of reply is crucial

4:33pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

Your reports into Barnet Council’s lack of access to professional legal advice is typical of the decimation of ethical and good government encouraged by the blind doctrine of supposed cost-effectiveness with disregard to ethics or competence epitomised by the reckless outsourcing of legal services — in this case to Harrow Borough Council.

Credibility must be restored

4:32pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

To hear Barnet Borough Council’s monitoring officer Maryellen Salter left last week ‘by mutual consent’ came as no surprise.

Our policies are more popular

4:30pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

Readers of this letter may well be among the many who have gone online to test their party affiliation on the Vote for Policies website.

Next stage is all about the details

Times Series:

4:28pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

On Friday, October 10, the Brent Cross Cricklewood exhibition opened at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, unveiling the first detailed proposals for the scheme.

Landlords need to be dealt with

4:25pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

Landlords such as the one referred to in a recent story (‘Landlord refuses to deal with ‘revolting’ bedbugs’, Times Series, October 9) need tackling.

NHS is a great organisation

Times Series:

4:30pm Thursday 16th October 2014

On July 16, I was admitted to Chase Farm Hospital for an operation to replace one of my knees. I was in the Canterbury ward for eight days and during my stay, which was at times extremely painful, I had the most friendly, caring and professional treatment from an always approachable nursing staff, for whom nothing was too much trouble.

An attempt to whip up fear?

4:26pm Thursday 16th October 2014

Response sent to MP Mike Freer regarding his letter about mansion tax I have received a letter from you claiming that my council tax bill will go up if the next government brings in a mansion tax. This used inaccurate information and seemed to be based on either a complete misunderstanding of how council tax works, or a deliberate attempt to whip up fear and alarm.

Parlous state of local government

4:24pm Thursday 16th October 2014

Your story ‘Where are the lawyers?’ (Times Series, October 9) draws attention to the parlous state of local government in our borough under the current administration.

Story did not give the full picture

4:23pm Thursday 16th October 2014

I welcome the publicity given by your paper to the crucial work of the children, education, libraries and safeguarding committee in recent weeks. The support of both sides in recognising the scale of the savings needed to secure the funding for vital services has been welcomed so far.

Memories of a well-loved actress

Times Series:

4:16pm Thursday 9th October 2014

I am still collating memories or information on Jean Simmons, particularly from her time living at 120 Cheviot Gardens, NW2 and surrounding areas, plus her time at the Aida Foster Dance & Drama School in Golders Green.

Unemployment figures are wrong

4:14pm Thursday 9th October 2014

I recently received a newsletter from MP Mike Freer, in which he is guilty of seriously understating the level of unemployment in his constituency.

Party politics thrives on division

4:10pm Thursday 9th October 2014

The letter from Deborah Heneghan (Political parties use the fear factor, Your Views, September 25) illustrated the fault lines in our party political system of government. Labour are promoting the mansion tax, which is the antithesis of the bedroom tax; the former attacks the rich, while the latter attacks the poor.

Important to ask many questions

4:08pm Thursday 9th October 2014

I look forward to the next round of consultations on phase one of the massive project that will engulf our lives over the next couple of decades – Brent Cross Cricklewood.

Attend meetings and ask questions

4:56pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

On Friday, October 10, there will be another public consultation, an exhibition on the Brent Cross Cricklewood redevelopment at the shopping centre itself. In the notification carried by some north London papers we are told to have our say, ask questions, and learn more about the approved plans.

Join debate at community library

4:55pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

Your issue of September 25 highlights some contrasting attitudes to the priorities facing Barnet Borough Council. There is the leader’s panel, appointed to determine the accusation of unethical actions by the Mayor, and the council’s current consultation on library services.

Serious questions over decision

Times Series: Cllr Hugh Rayner

4:53pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

Your front page recently reported that a disciplinary panel cleared Mayor of Barnet Councillor Hugh Rayner of all the complaints investigated by the council’s disciplinary processes (‘A private matter’, Barnet & Potters Bar Times, September 11).

Enviro-crimes should come first

4:49pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

Last Thursday was ‘Day of 100,000 Conversations’, when council officers and police were out collecting views as part of Barnet’s current consultation on crime and anti-social behaviour, which ends on October 3.

Proposals will damage rights

4:46pm Thursday 2nd October 2014

We write to oppose the proposals in Barnet Council’s recent consultation to require victims of domestic violence to register as ‘homeless’ in order to be rehoused.

Transparently a ‘just war’

8:41am Friday 26th September 2014

Mr Keith Martin is seriously misinformed about the Falklands conflict of 1982 if he thinks it was an “illegal war” on Great Britain’s part (‘She was indeed a forceful lady’, Your Views, September 18).

Miscarriage of justice by panel

8:40am Friday 26th September 2014

Another simple and stupendous miscarriage of justice occurred on September 3 at Hendon Town Hall when a ‘leader’s panel’, conducted in public but adjudicated behind closed doors, determined that Barnet Mayor Councillor Hugh Rayner was not guilty of some offences related to his ethical duties to the council.

Cafés will need to up their game

8:37am Friday 26th September 2014

I read with interest the letter from the Green Party about the planning application to change the former Post Office in East Barnet Village into a coffee shop (‘We do not need any more cafés’, Your Views, September 18).

Borough is a success story

8:36am Friday 26th September 2014

In one short letter (‘All that is wrong starts right here’, Your Views, September 11), Morton Morris manages to complain that Barnet’s streets are “cart tracks” jammed with construction vehicles and rubbish trucks; that our police force is reduced to “one sole lady” on foot; that the streets are full of “lunatic” drivers during the day, and are no-go zones at night. He asks: “How many recognise this borough as a place to be proud of?”

Bailiffs are sent as a last resort

8:34am Friday 26th September 2014

As the Barnet Borough Council officer ultimately responsible for the council’s finances, I would like to reassure readers of two things concerning the council’s use of bailiffs to collect outstanding debts (‘My throat ended up in my stomach’, Hendon Times, September 11).

Political parties use the fear factor

Times Series: Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer has organised the fair

8:32am Friday 26th September 2014

A scaremongering letter sent to me by my Conservative MP Mike Freer warns that my council tax will rise by £1,000 if Labour wins the 2015 election.

Only one donation towards wheelchair

8:30am Friday 26th September 2014

You published an article regarding the plight of Carl Bingham, who was born with cerebral palsy (Give me my freedom’, Times Series, September 4). Carl was looking for donations to help him fund a specially-adapted wheelchair, which would change his life.

She was indeed a forceful lady

4:09pm Thursday 18th September 2014

What a sad, inaccurate and over-written letter from Malcolm Glynn (‘Nation honoured lady for a reason, Your Views, August 28).

We do not need any more cafés

4:07pm Thursday 18th September 2014

Regarding the recently lodged planning application at the former post office at 282 East Barnet Road (Case: B/03369/14) to change its use from a retail store to a mixed-class coffee shop, to date there have been 149 public comments made to Barnet Borough Council’s planning department on this matter.

Difficult to make a worse job

4:04pm Thursday 18th September 2014

At its assets, regeneration & growth committee meeting on September 8, Barnet Borough Council voted to offer the former Church Farmhouse Museum to Middlesex University rent-free, on a seven-year lease, and to contribute £280,000 to the some £500,000 worth of renovations that, largely due to Barnet’s negligence, Middlesex claims are now needed. We don’t know the exact costs, as the financial implications were, as usual, considered in secret.

Infrastructure needs looking at

Times Series:

4:02pm Thursday 18th September 2014

Mayor Boris Johnson recently published his strategy for London in 2050 – a world city of several million more Londoners than now.

Care staff should be respected

4:00pm Thursday 18th September 2014

No one is happy that older residents and people with disabilities may be affected by the dispute over pay cuts for staff in Barnet’s care homes. But making sure our vulnerable neighbours get good quality care has to start with respect and decent pay for the staff who look after them.

Council responsible for difficulties

3:58pm Thursday 18th September 2014

With reference to your article on Your Choice Barnet planned strike action (‘Care workers plan to strike over pay cuts’, Times Series, September 4), it is important to remember that Barnet Borough Council is responsible for the difficulties facing Your Choice Barnet and its care workers.

Making Barnet bee-friendly

Times Series:

3:44pm Monday 15th September 2014

This summer, with bees buzzing busily in our parks and gardens, is a key time to recognise the vital role they play.

Apologise to your neighbours

3:42pm Monday 15th September 2014

I would like to respond to both Martin R Maloney (‘Don’t dismiss other views,’ Your Views, August 21) and Malcolm Glynn (‘Nation honoured lady for a reason’, Your Views, August 28).

Why not pay for parking on exit?

Times Series: Barnet Hospital

3:40pm Monday 15th September 2014

I have twice attended the accident and emergency department at Barnet General Hospital in the past two weeks — once referred by my GP and once by the walk-in centre at Finchley Memorial Hospital.

All that is wrong starts right here

3:37pm Monday 15th September 2014

I am writing regarding two letters printed in the Times Series (‘Sort out this housing crisis’ and ‘Don’t build on leisure space’, Your Views, August 21).

Private rental market is badly broken

4:02pm Thursday 4th September 2014

Barnet made the local and national headlines last week and for all the wrong reasons (‘Tenants crawl to reach rooms’, Times Series, August 28).

Nothing to be ashamed of

Times Series: A council committee is looking at whether or not to introduce more 20mph speed limits across Barnet

4:00pm Thursday 4th September 2014

Let us be quite clear – the attack by Mr Dismore, a Labour want-to-be-MP, on Councillor Hugh Rayner, a Conservative councillor, is no more than a political attack by Labour on the Conservatives, creating a bandwagon for every anti-Conservative blogger and pressure group to climb on.

Alleviating house shortage problem

3:57pm Thursday 4th September 2014

Perhaps some of your correspondents should wake up when observing housing aspects. It is obvious very few, if any, have ever been involved in house construction.

Ice cream vans are big offenders

3:55pm Thursday 4th September 2014

In his letter, Mr Gutmann describes how dozens of vans, lorries, buses and cars needlessly add to the high pollution levels recorded in Barnet because they leave their engines idling (‘Fine drivers who leave cars idling’, Your Views, August 21).

Agreement has been kept secret

3:51pm Thursday 4th September 2014

Within a year a new bilateral trading agreement between the EU and the US may be signed, which will have ominous consequences for all of us – The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Until now, most have never heard of this.

Shame on council for ruining holiday

5:07pm Thursday 28th August 2014

We arrived in London last Tuesday at 3.02pm and by 3.10pm I had my very first parking ticket. Two excited children, luggage and, it would seem, nowhere to park. The first day of our holiday seemed destined to be our last.

Don’t forget the hedgehogs

Times Series:

5:06pm Thursday 28th August 2014

Hedgehogs, like many wildlife species, are declining in numbers due to environmental changes in both rural and urban areas, mostly caused by humans. But you can help the urban scene by doing some simple things around your garden. Hedgehogs are good for the garden because they eat a lot of the creepy crawlies that most of us don’t like, ie. slugs, beetles, earwigs, worms and millipedes, to name but a few. But the hogs can’t get at them if your garden is too tidy, or they can’t move freely from one garden to the next.

Essential for a fair society

5:04pm Thursday 28th August 2014

People in this country are rightly proud of the NHS, and many are angry at the creeping privatisation now being introduced. The service will be further threatened if a trade deal currently being negotiated with the US goes ahead.

Nation honoured lady for a reason

5:03pm Thursday 28th August 2014

I am writing in response to a letter written by Stephen O’Byrne (‘Letter was not patronising’, Your Views, August 7).

Life is precious at any age

5:01pm Thursday 28th August 2014

I am writing in regards to Jim Brightwell’s letter (‘Turning 70 is not good news’, Your Views, August 14).

Revival has been a total failure

5:00pm Thursday 28th August 2014

The well-known retail expert Bill Grimsey has said that Government efforts to revive UK high streets are a resounding failure. Retail space is collapsing, but high streets are not gaining community uses instead.

Information would be most helpful

3:26pm Friday 22nd August 2014

We are writing to appeal for information about an attempted break-in and assault that happened at approximately 2pm on August 4 in North Finchley. We would like to thank those that came to our aid, in particular a young gentleman who tried to stop the assailant from running away.

Don’t build on leisure space

3:24pm Friday 22nd August 2014

Fairview portrays itself as a housing development company made of moral and ethical dreams. Their website states: “It makes perfect sense to reclaim brownfield sites”, these being “existing urban land that has fallen into disuse” so they can “preserve our precious landscape”. So how do Fairview justify building 135 housing units for hobbits on the Hendon Football Club (HFC) site? Easy. Just re-label it a brownfield site.

Don’t dismiss other views

Times Series: Margaret Thatcher

3:20pm Friday 22nd August 2014

I’m sorry my letter annoyed Mr Stephen O’Byrne so much (‘Letter was not patronising’, Your Views, August 7).

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