Cllr Hugh Rayner takes Cllr Nagus Narenthira to task for asking that the report on plans for a primary school in Burnt Oak be referred to full council (‘Primary school opening blocked’, Your Views, June 11). He calls it ‘playing politics’, but then proceeds to explain that she had valid reasons. Further information is reported elsewhere in the same issue.

1. There has been a mass of objections.

2. Only 41 families have signed up for Watling Park Academy, which is designed to accommodate 420 children.

3. The planning application says the need for places is in Colindale and West Hendon, not Burnt Oak. Should the school be resited where there is greater need?

Then, tellingly, Cllr Rayner adds that earlier proposals for the site have included an element of housing. This proposal does not. Are we getting warm for the reason he has criticised the referral to full council?

Cllr Rayner, of course, became notorious during his term as Mayor of Barnet for failing to declare his conflict of interest as a landlord of former council properties, at meetings of the housing committee where votes on the level of housing benefit were taken.

There is no objection to a councillor being a landlord.

What however is contrary to council protocol is the non-disclosure of an interest.

There was a popular song he may know, entitled Pity the Downtrodden Landlord...


When thunder clouds gather and darken,you can sleep undisturbed in your bed.

But the landlord must sit up and hearken, and shiver, and wonder, and dread.

If you’re killed, then you die in a hurry, and you never will know your bad luck; but the landlord is shaking with worry – “Has one of my houses been struck?”

So pity the downtrodden landlord, and his back that is burdened and bent.

Respect his grey hairs, don’t ask for repairs, and don’t be behind with the rent!


As for Cllr Daniel Thomas’s letter (‘Pure stubbornness’, Your Views, June 11), me thinks he doth protest too much. The “blind, unreasoned stubbornness” would seem to refer to his own utterings.

Keith Martin

Friern Park, North Finchley