Last night demonstrated to me why local government needs radical reform. A motion of no confidence in the leader was all about the Barnet Council's obsession with handing over the running of council services to a private company.
Sadly there was very little factual discussion very little analysis of the key facts, very little evidence. There was, however, a great deal of offensive, unpleasant party politics. Cllr Dan Thomas had the bare faced cheek to say that the One Barnet scrutiny process has been open and transparent. Having asked numerous questions over the last two years I have never had a straight answer and any tangible evidence had always been hidden behind the cloak of "commercial sensitivity". Cllr Cornelius blamed the EU; Cllr Marshall blamed the last labour government; the unions got blamed for protecting their member's jobs.
I just wish they would stop blaming other people and look at themselves for a minute. How many members have read all of the papers, how many members have been to speak to councillors in Somerset or Essex or Liverpool or Edinburgh where they might have actually informed themselves and drawn their own conclusions. I tried to ask a question recently as to whether councillors had spoken to councillors in Somerset to talk about SouthWest One where Somerset County Council is being sued by their private sector outsourcing partner but my question was banned. Councillors seem happy to be spoon fed what officers and external consultants tell them. Their naivety is sometimes breathtaking. Last night Cllr Marshall said that we are safe because we have a contract! What planet is he living on. Luckily he was immediately followed by Lord Palmer who speaks with authority and common sense are who showed Cllr Marshall what utter rubbish he was talking.
The constant mantra last night was there is no alternative. Not true and later today I will publish the Mr Reasonable One Barnet alternative.