Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Budget Consultation Cancelled at 48 Hrs Notice

I have read today on the Barnet Times website that the public consultation meeting due to be held on Thursday has been cancelled because of a "lack of interest". Apparently only four people had called the council to tell them they were interested in attending. So now we have to register for public meetings in advance? This is both an outrage and an affront to democracy. Given that the had large adverts in both the Barnet Times and Press for two weeks which must have cost several thousand pounds they have now decided before the meeting that they shouldn't bother. Mr Reasonable is incensed having spent the last week going through the 24,664 separate entries of Barnet Council suppliers invoices over £500 between April and September 2010. Do the council want a dialogue on this or do they simply want to push through their own ideas. Democracy has been short changed and unless residents complain the council will simply say residents don't care.


  1. Hear, hear. I'm sure people will still turn up because they did not realise they were supposed to register (an excesssive bureaucratic layer for a council that supposedly wants to make things simpler!). It's a shambles.

    And have you seen that online budget consultation? Leading questions or what?

    It takes a while to trawl through, but they do helpfully highlight the things they want to cut: most of them highly valuable services! Not to mention closure of Church Farmhouse Museum in Hendon, which would be an act of philistinism.

    Vicki from Barnet TUC and the Barnet Alliance for Public Services

  2. Mr Reasonable: yes, they do want to push through their own ideas, and the Ideas Barnet website is a perfect example of this strategy. We need to ask for proof that the ideas allowed on this censored website are genuine, especially those with implications for staffing and services.
    Apart from that, the cancellation of the meeting is yet another awful example of the cynical approach this council has to the process of consultation and engagement with the public. They fear genuine debate, and this cancellation is the result.