So the new mayor hopes to inspire people to get involved in community matters Really? What a shame all those Barnet residents who were doing just that – getting involved in community matters – were kept out of the council’s public meeting on the orders of the council’s leader.

Our West Hendon and Sweets Way Resists campaigners and their supporters were stopped by the Conservative councillors from handing in a 200,000-signature strong petition to the same council annual meeting at which Councillor Shooter was sworn in as the new mayor, but he was too busy to meet the people he wants to inspire.

The police were called to block the residents in advance and were there from 6pm. The residents tried to walk into the town hall, not to ‘storm’ it as stated in your report (‘Campaigners barred from council chamber’, Times Series, May 21), in order to sit in the public gallery during the council’s meeting and to hand in the petition; they got angry only after they were not allowed into their council’s public meeting.

Cllr Richard Cornelius, the leader of the council, did not present the petition to the full council as he promised the residents’ representatives. ‘Common’ residents were not allowed in, only guests of the new mayor and a few late councillors passed the police and security guards line.

As usual, this council is lying to its residents. Accepting its statements without questioning them is serving the public badly. A newspaper that calls campaigning residents ‘rowdy’ sides with the Conservative councillors who had placed themselves against the residents they were elected to represent.

Tirza Waisel

Address supplied