We turned up at Barnet House to a freezing cold room but were met with a warm smile from Cllr Kate Salinger!
To start off with there were only 8 people present including a couple of councillors. Over the next half hour a few more people joined the meeting, but holding residents forums at 6pm clearly deters anyone who works in central London.
Before the meeting started Cllr Salinger noted that I had raised several questions relating to "Themed Residents Forums". These are a specific requirement in the Constitution and the leader or a delegated member of the cabinet must host one at least once a year. I had asked when we were going to have one and could the topic be the DRS. Unsurprisingly these questions were initially ruled out of order. However, having stated that preventing me question why the constitution was not being upheld seemed to run against the spirit of the constitution and that I would pursue this further, Cllr Salinger had called Richard Cornelius and he had agreed to host a forum. So officially my question was never asked upholding the entirely undemocratic policy of limiting debate at forums.
The remaining questions were dealt with in half an hour. Can we have a 20 mile an hour speed limit around two primary schools. Waffle, waffle, where funding is available waffle, waffle, speak to the school travel plan coordinator. Painting some double yellow lines at a dangerous junction. Waffle, waffle, may get pushed up the priority list but officers are focused on sorting out parking in town centres. When the new recycling bins are introduced can we get a smaller bins? Waffle, waffle, standard 240 litre bin waffle, waffle. Some discussion about the fact that matters are discussed but don't always get actioned and then its all over. So that's it till March. So much for public debate - not in Barnet.