Tuesday, 5 April 2011

MetPro FOI Responses

Following my experience on the evening of the council meeting on the 1st March I immediately submitted some FOI questions regarding MetPro. Yesterday, and overdue, I received responses from Barnet. Yes, there were 7 MetPro staff present and they charged £411 plus VAT for that evening.
No real answer as to why they were needed in addition to all the police officers present.

"The Council has for some time had security arrangements in place at Hendon Town Hall. The numbers of officers on duty at any given time is assessed according to requirements".

However on the matter of how many of the security guards were SIA Licensed the Council's response is interesting. They state,

"We were assured by the company that all staff are SIA licensed".

I asked this question for a very specific reason. My understanding of the SIA conditions of licence is that SIA licensed staff MUST "wear the licence where it can be seen at all times when engaging in designated licenseable activity".

If you look on the SIA website, all pictures of security staff show them with their licence on display. If this condition is not met the licence can be revoked or suspended. Although the council say they were "assured that all staff are SIA Licensed" did they have any proof and did anyone from the council check? Given that MetPro were not a member of the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme perhaps someone should have checked that:

a) Staff were SIA Licensed and that
b) MetPro were conforming to SIA regulations.

This is an exceptionally serious matter and receiving an "assurance" seems less than adequate from a risk management perspective.

If the council failed to check on this matter it doesn't bode well when they start contracting out the Development and Regulatory Services, a number of which are governed by specific legislation.

Overall a very bad business.


  1. Well said, Mr Reasonable. It is indeed a shocking set of circumstances, from the episode at the meeting, the background to this contract, and the way in which the council is evading a full and honest response to questions. My FOI answers have not been responded to: it seems that some questions are just too close for comfort.

  2. Try challenging a Penalty Charge Notice by assuring the Council that you purchased a ticket but were not displaying it. You will not be believed. Why should we believe the Council ?

  3. Can you FOI the contract? You would then be able to see the scope of services to be provided by MetPro (ie. whether the Council knew or requested that video surveillance be taken) as well as what representations were made by MetPro (SIA licensed, data controller under the Data Protection Act, etc.)

  4. And also the new contract with the new firm that suddenly appeared when the old company went into liquidation.

  5. I like metpro and my support goes out to kevin and his team on the good work they do

  6. Mrs anger I hope you never need help from metpro if ever your in trouble you get to known these guys they are such lovely people who are just doing there job

  7. When my business rates go up why does it say it because of school police etc... What that got to do with me I only have a business in barnet I don't live in this area your council makes a lot of money from hard working people you all should move to st Albans the council is much better and cheaper I'm looking to move my business to where I live

  8. Because of this metpro stuff I am gone give my vote to labour