Friday 22 March 2013

Barnet to Become a Democracy Free Zone

Yet more proposed changes to the constitution will be discussed at the Constitution Ethic & Probity Committee next Thursday. One  proposed addition tucked away in the Public Participation amendments particularly catches my eye:

"Public questions are not permitted at Overview and Scrutiny Committees when they are considering call-ins or undertaking pre-decision scrutiny of executive decisions"

Now just to be clear this new rule would have prevented any questioning on the NSCSO contract at the Business Overview & Scrutiny Committee Meeting on 29 November - a topic on which 63 public questions were submitted. Every single one of those 63 questions would be ruled invalid under the new rules. 

In those few words this amendment will render the majority of business discussed at Overview & Scrutiny committees exempt from public questioning and that is frankly an affront to democracy.

I suggest that if they wish to pursue this proposal they might as well put a barbed wire fence around Hendon Town Hall and stick up a sign saying residents KEEP OUT.


  1. The Town Hall is likely to be served cacerolazo on a daily basis with more noise than Tahrir Square.

    1. Moaneybat, I have to admit I had to look up cacerolazo but having found out what it means I am please to say I have a more than ample supply of saucepans. Perhaps everyone attending the committee meeting on Thiursday could also bring a saucepan - and a wooden spoon to bang it with!

  2. This sounds very arrogant with a high court judge not having yet delivered his view of the level of consultation Barnet Council currently allows. One might even say contemptuos.

  3. Mr Reasonable, I do hope all the resistance are reading your post. If the barbed wire fence is going up inside the Town Hall as proposed, then despite holding a legal aid certificate, getting a judicial review next time, is as close to nil. The fence cannot be allowed to go up, period. If the opposing chancers get protest voted in next time, they are unlikely to change it.