Barnet’s council leader says he has “set his expectations quite low” for the borough, a new documentary film reveals.

Tale of Two Barnets, by Charles Honderick, premiered at the Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, this evening.

The 30-minute film is made up of a collection of interviews with a variety of people in Barnet. These include blogger Mrs Angry, police chief Neil Seabridge, Father Kevin O’Shea, a pensioner and a disabled man.

All the interviewees are shown expressing their concerns about the running, and policies of Barnet Council.

The screening was so popular that only standing room was left in the cinema and the audience participated vocally in the post-screening discussion.

In fact, so keen were people to get involved that louder members of the audience managed to persuade the organisers to show the film early to allow more time for debate.

Prior to the film screening, producer Roger Tichborne, Charles Honderick, and three of the interviewees gave a brief talk.

Mr Tichborne said: “I think this is a great film. We did not have a huge Hollywood-style budget, but I think the stories make up for the lack of technology.”

During the film, participants discussed parking charges, shop closures, privatisation of council services and library closures.

They told tales of grandchildren not being able to visit their grandparents because of the price of parking, and of disabled people being unable to get to the bathroom because their support workers had been axed.

There was applause from the audience at an interviewee’s comment councillors did not seem to remember they were supposed to represent residents.

The audience then hissed and booed when a councillor insisted the council had given people more choices.

Laughter erupted when council leader Richard Cornelius said: “I’m not sure there is much I can change about Barnet, so I have set my expectations quite low.”

Following the screening, there was a discussion in which audience members were able to put across their views.

Andrew Dismore, Labour's London Assembly candidate for Camden, said: “I think what is going on here with the council is an attack on democracy.

“It should not refer to one Barnet, but to none Barnet as there will soon be no services left.”

The film was created to mark the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens and to celebrate his role as a social campaigner.

There are currently eight screenings planned, including one at the House of Commons.